Vincent Velasquez was an unexpected part of the Astros' youth movement, getting called up in June to join the rotation. After a few wild starts early, Velasquez settled in as an effective and efficient starter, but shortly after the All-Star break, he was moved to the bullpen and then to the minors for a brief stint. The Astros traded Velasquez as part of the Ken Giles deal, and now the Phillies will have to determine if he belongs in their rotation, bullpen or minor league system. If Velasquez starts, he could provide strikeouts, and he is also relief-eligible. If a starting role looks probable, standard mixed Head-to-Head owners should consider Velasquez in the later rounds.
Velasquez will enter camp as the favorite to win the fifth spot in the Phillies' rotation, the team's official site reports. Velasquez came over to the Phillies as the centerpiece of the Ken Giles trade. He was 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA and a 58:21 K:BB ratio in 55.2 innings with the Astros last season. He will compete with Brett Oberholtzer, Adam Morgan, David Buchanan, Alec Asher and Severino Gonzalez this spring.
Velasquez was traded to the Phillies on Wednesday as part of a package for Ken Giles, Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston reports. Velasquez fell off most prospect lists after appearing in 19 games for the Astros last season, but he entered 2015 as a Top 100 prospect, and is the centerpiece of the group of players headed to Philadelphia. Velasquez has a good chance to earn a spot in the Phillies' rotation during spring training, but if he does not, he could still break camp with the big club as a reliever.
The Astros recalled pitcher Vincent Velasquez while optioning pitcher Josh Fields to Double-A Corpus Christi on Thursday, the team announced. Fields (4-1) has a 2.20 ERA in 41 innings this season. Velasquez tossed 41 2/3 innings with the Astros earlier this season before being sent to minors to fine-tune his skills for a postseason run.
The Astros seem to be defining the future roles for young hurlers Vincent Velasquez and Lance McCullers . Both pitchers were recently sent to Double-A Corpus Christi after spending considerable time with the Astros this season. Velasquez will continue to pitch out of the bullpen as he has been doing since moving from the rotation at the end of July (his last start came on July 21 against the Red Sox). He threw 2 2/3 shutout innings of relief on Saturday before being sent down to Double-A. "We could always stretch him back out if we need to, but we've got a few starter options," manager A.J. Hinch said, per MLB.com. "He brings a lot of dynamic to the bullpen, too. It's not just about the innings. It's also about what we feel he can do for us in the final stretch of the season. Coming out of the 'pen, he could be a little dynamic velocity-wise than what we have." Meanwhile, McCullers was sent down earlier this week after a horrid start on Monday. The idea was for him to go down to the minors and rest, in an effort to preserve his innings for the stretch run. He is expected to return to the Astros' rotation at some point this season. "We're really focused in on conditioning and rest and recovery [at Corpus Christi]," Hinch said. "As it starts to trend towards the time we're going to considering bring him back, we'll obviously increase pitching activity and get him ready to start again for us."
Astros young pitcher Vincent Velasquez is headed back to Double-A Corpus Christi. Velasquez was optioned down to the minors after pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief in Saturday's 9-2 win over the Diamondbacks. Manager A.J. Hinch said Velasquez will remain in the bullpen at Double-A, as he will look to get more innings under his belt before returning to Houston. The move was made to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for the newly-acquired right-hander Mike Fiers.