Phillies: Brett Myers chimes in on Vince Velasquez’s struggles
Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez had his typical night and a former Phillies pitcher gave his two cents on the situation.
Coming off one of the best months of his career, Phillies starter Vince Velasquez found himself on the downside of his typical rollercoaster season. Since sporting an impressive 2.08 ERA in his first four games, Velasquez has allowed eight runs in his last two starts combined.
Against St. Louis Monday night, Velasquez pitched four innings giving up five runs on four hits and five walks. He continued to get ahead of batters but he couldn’t find a put away pitch to finish anyone and ultimately threw 98 pitches to 21 batters.
Former Phillies starter and closer Brett Myers was tuning in Monday night and saw a lot of the same stuff with Velasquez.
Velasquez got ahead of 10 batters and threw a first pitch strike to seven of the 21 Cardinals he faced. On Matt Carpenter’s home run Velasquez threw two balls to start the at-bat and threw a ball on three of his first four pitches before serving up the long ball.
In the fourth inning, Yadier Molina fouled off the first two pitches, then took two balls and fouled off two more before hitting the seventh pitch into the left-center field seats.
The average pitches per plate appearance in 2019 is 3.94, and Phillies pitchers are just a tiny fraction away from having the highest P/PA in baseball at 4.06, four hundredths less than last year when they averaged the second-most in baseball.
Monday night Cardinals hitters averaged about 4.66 pitches per plate appearance.
Many fans are ready to move Velasquez to the bullpen, but Myers isn’t ready to give Vinny V the boot just yet.
As someone who bounced between the ‘pen and rotation Myers has just as good of an idea as anyone on what it takes to do either. Whether or not he and the Phillies organization share the same feeling is yet to be seen.
Obviously, Velasquez has the stuff to succeed, but the inconsistencies are mindboggling and painful to watch. Throwing him into the bullpen could damage his confidence and things could take a turn for the worst.
It’s not as if Velasquez has had a ton of success as a relief pitcher; in fact, his ERA is .10 points higher as a reliever, granted in just 14 games.
For many Phillies, especially Velasquez, this year is the last straw to prove they can compete and be a member of a playoff-caliber club. As we saw with Nick Pivetta, the Phillies are ready to win now. Options remain in Lehigh Valley if the Phillies want to give another young arm the opportunity to start, so it’s now or never for Velasquez.