The Phillies’ cross-state rival Pirates share a funny Vince Velasquez hype video.
The Major League Baseball offseason is in full swing, as dozens of free-agents have signed with teams earlier than usual. The Philadelphia Phillies are among the teams that have been the most active, notably landing shortstop Trea Turner and starting pitcher Taijuan Walker — among other players.
As for the cross-state rival Pittsburgh Pirates, they have not only signed former Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana to a one-year, $6.7 million contract, but as well as former Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez to a one-year, $3.15 million pact.
When the latter deal became official on Tuesday, the Pirates shared a hype video — featuring the 30-year-old right-hander — that surely will make Phillies fans laugh:
Across parts of six seasons with the Phillies from 2016-2021, Velasquez went 30-40 with a 4.93 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, and 642-243 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 582 2/3 innings. The organization had acquired the right-hander from the Houston Astros in December 2015, as part of the multi-player trade that had them parting ways with closer Ken Giles.
Since leaving the Phillies, the eight-year veteran went 0-3 with a 8.53 ERA in four starts with the San Diego Padres, followed by going 3-3 with a 4.78 ERA in 27 appearances (nine starts) this past season for the Chicago White Sox.
Velasquez may get yet another chance to become an everyday starter in the 2023 Pirates rotation. If not, one could expect to see him in a long relief bullpen role. The pitcher recently told The Athletic that while things do not always go as planned, he has to make the most of his new opportunity:
"“I think that’s what they’re granting me. This is an opportunity to start over.”"
There were recent seasons when it seemed the Phillies had fallen to the same stratosphere as the Pirates. But, arguably since they signed Bryce Harper, “nature healed” and the National League East-squad began to become one of the National League’s strong contenders. Hopefully, the 2022 season was the first of many World Series appearances to come.