Phillies: 2019 season predictions and fun pop bets
Will Vince Velasquez be in the rotation on August 1?
George (No): As much as I would love to see Vinny Velo turn things around and be the dominant power arm we’ve seen at times, his leash will be short in 2019. Philadelphia is ready to compete for a playoff series this year and they can’t wait for Velasquez anymore. It’s time to put up or shut up.
Philadelphia has enough pitching depth to make a quick change and call-up Jerad Eickhoff, Drew Anderson, Ranger Suarez, Cole Irvin, or Enyel De Los Santos. If they really need a veteran arm then they’ll dip into the trade market.
Again, I think everyone wants to see Velasquez to well because he has the stuff to be a front line starting pitcher. Perhaps the Phillies move him out to the bullpen or swap him for a veteran pitcher at some point. Either way, I don’t see Velasquez sticking with the rotation through the summer.
John (No): As much as I have stuck up for Vince Velasquez in the past, I just don’t envision him staying in the rotation all season long. His spring training performance raised some major red flags and his designation as the fifth starter shows where he stands with the team.
If Velasquez doesn’t show significant improvements early on this season, the calls to move him to the bullpen will only grow louder. This team no longer has the time to let Velasquez develop over time in the rotation as they have in years past. If he can succeed and be a capable fifth starter, great; it’s just hard to predict that right now.
Jerad Eickhoff is waiting for the chance to come up and steal Velasquez’s spot after losing his to Zach Eflin last year. Velasquez really doesn’t have any room for error anymore.