Phillies: Which players still need to step it up?

Cole Irvin, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Cole Irvin, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 23: Vince Velasquez #21 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 23, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Vince Velasquez

Right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez is moving in the opposite direction, with shakier stats of late.

Velasquez made his spring training debut as starter on February 24 against the Baltimore Orioles. He looked solid in that first appearance, giving up one hit and one walk over two innings.

His next appearance came out of the bullpen on March 2 against the Atlanta Braves where he gave up one earned run off of four hits and a walk over three innings.

The relief outing was not horrible considering it was still early in spring training.

But, Velasquez moved in the wrong direction, picking up the loss as a starter on March 8 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Velasquez gave up three earned runs off of two hits (both home runs) and three walks in 2.2 innings.

Overall, he has an 0-1 record with four earned runs given up off of seven hits and five walks over 7.2 innings.

The good news for the right-hander is that his numbers are still better than Zach Eflin and Nick Pivetta, who are his main competitors for a spot at the back of the rotation.

Eflin has pitched in only 3.2 innings so far this spring, where he gave up three earned runs off of four hits and four walks.

Pivetta, like Velasquez, has pitched in 7.2 innings so far, but with worse results.

The right-handed pitcher has an 0-1 record with seven earned runs given up off of ten hits and four walks.

While these numbers would seem to give Velasquez the leg-up, he will have another pair of pitchers in Ranger Suarez and Cole Irvin to contend with.

With the regular season fast approaching, Velasquez will still need to prove that he should remain a part of the starting rotation.