Phillies: Ranking the team’s top 5 starting pitchers in 2021

Zack Wheeler #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Zack Wheeler #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez #21 of the Philadelphia Philies (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

4. Vince Velasquez, RHP

  • 2-0, 2.30 ERA
  • 6 starts (2 quality starts)
  • 31 1/3 innings pitched
  • 8 runs (8 earned runs) allowed; 7 home runs allowed
  • 14 walks, 33 strikeouts

Seven-year veteran Vince Velasquez is the only Phillies pitcher on this list that did not start the current season in the rotation. The right-hander seems to have earned his way back into the mix in yet another season, in part due to lack of depth in the organization.

Nonetheless, Velasquez is making the most out of his most recent opportunity — and already has more quality starts (2) than offseason free-agent signees Chase Anderson (0) and Matt Moore (0) combined.

Velasquez’s first of two quality starts this season came in a 4-3 home victory against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 3. In six innings, the right-hander allowed just four hits (one being a solo home run) and two walks, while striking out six of his 24 batters faced.

On Tuesday, Velasquez helped even the series against the Miami Marlins by tossing six scoreless frames. The Phillies won 2-0, despite only logging two hits on offense, thanks to Rhys Hoskins‘ two-run home run. Velasquez deserves a lot of credit for the win as well, allowing only three hits and three walks while punching out five opposing batters.

This month, Velasquez has the third-best ERA among all qualified MLB pitchers (1.11), trailing only Kevin Gausman (0.87) and Rich Rill (0.91) of the San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively. Velasquez seems like a whole different pitcher on the mound … and the Phillies surely are not complaining because of that.