Velasquez signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Phillies on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
Now heading into his seventh big-league season, Velasquez has never had that anticipated breakout, but he's remained just useful enough for the Phillies to keep him around at a fairly low price. His 5.56 ERA in 34 innings last season was a career high, though his 4.16 FIP and 4.07 xFIP painted a much more optimistic picture, as did his career-high 29.9 percent strikeout rate.
Velasquez allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six over 4.1 innings in Friday's loss to the Rays. He didn't factor into the decision.
Velasquez held the Rays to one run over the first four innings, but he struggled early in the fourth inning prior to his removal. The right-hander finishes the abbreviated regular season with a 5.56 ERA and 1.56 WHIP, both of which are career-worst marks.
Velasquez (1-1) struck out six and earned the win Saturday against the Blue Jays after giving up one run on two hits and three walks over six innings.
The right-hander surrendered a solo homer to Travis Shaw during the fifth inning, but he otherwise kept Toronto off the board. Velasquez has a 5.46 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and 40:15 K:BB over 29.2 innings, and he may have made his final start of the regular season.
Velasquez (0-1) took the loss to the Marlins on Monday, allowing four runs on seven hits and one walk across 3.2 innings. He struck out five.
Velasquez earned himself the start after striking out nine in a no-decision against the Red Sox on Sept. 8. He wasn't nearly as sharp Monday, however. He did not allow a baserunner in the first, but gave up a run in the second, two in the third and one more in the fourth. The rough outing brought his ERA up to 6.46 on the season. It's unclear if Velasquez will stick in the rotation going forward, but if he does, he'll likely take the ball Saturday against Toronto.
Velasquez is slated to start Monday's game against the Marlins.
The Phillies had a doubleheader on tap Sunday in Miami, but rather than tabbing Velasquez for one of the starts, manager Joe Girardi opted to go with a bullpen game in the first contest before having Zach Eflin take the hill in the nightcap. With Zack Wheeler (finger) not expected to be ready to start again until later this week, the Phillies will still have a spot available in the rotation for Velasquez on Monday. Assuming Velasquez acquits himself well in the outing, the right-hander could pick up a second start later in the week against the Blue Jays, as the Phillies will have another opening in the rotation following Spencer Howard's (shoulder) placement on the injured list.
Velasquez didn't factor into the decision during a 5-2 loss to the Red Sox in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader, allowing two runs on seven hits over five innings. He struck out a season-high nine without walking a batter.
The right-hander was electric in his fourth start of the season, tossing 64 of 90 pitches for strikes and pitching well enough to earn his first win of 2020. Unfortunately for Velasquez, he exited with the score tied 2-2 before the Phillies' bullpen unraveled once again. With the team headed to Miami on Thursday to play seven games in five days against the Marlins, Velasquez should get another start in Sunday's twin bill, but his 5.85 ERA and 1.60 WHIP suggest he'll be a risky fantasy option despite a 29:11 K:BB through 20 innings.
Velasquez has officially been moved to the bullpen going forward, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The Phillies will use him as a long reliever for now, essentially until they have need of a sixth starter again. He has logged fewer than five innings in three of his four appearances and a sports a 7.62 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and 18:8 K:BB in 13 innings this season.
Velasquez allowed four earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven across five innings in the second game of the Phillies' doubleheader Thursday against the Blue Jays. He did not factor into the decision.
Velasquez allowed two home runs that accounted for three of the four runs against him. However, he was sharp in between, punching out a season-high seven batters while also turning in his longest outing of the campaign. Velasquez has made three of his four appearances this season as a starter, though without doubleheaders and the need for an extra starter, he will likely be relegated to a bulk-inning relief role for the time being.
Velasquez is starting Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader against the Blue Jays, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Spencer Howard will get the ball for Game 1 while Velasquez starts the second half of Thursday's twin bill. The right-hander has made three appearances (two starts) for the Phillies this season, allowing seven runs across eight innings while posting an 11:6 K:BB.
Velasquez allowed two runs on two hits and one walk in one inning pitched during Thursday's loss to the Orioles.
Velasquez was considered an option to start Friday's game against the Mets but that nod appears to be going to Spencer Howard after Velasquez entered Thursday's game in the eighth inning. The right-hander was able to strike out the lone batter he faced in the sixth inning, but he gave up a two-run double to Jose Iglesias in the seventh. It's unclear how the Phillies plan on using Velasquez in the coming days, although he remains a candidate to start one of the games during the doubleheader against the Blue Jays on Aug. 20.
Velasquez and Spencer Howard are both preparing to start Friday's game against the Mets, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Both pitchers are in line to start Friday after each starting one half of Sunday's doubleheader against Atlanta. The Phillies appear to be leaning towards Velasquez getting the nod, though a piggyback role appears possible. The Phillies will need a six-man rotation at times down the stretch, as they're expected to play quite a few doubleheaders to make up for their lost week of games early in the season. Piggybacking the pair would keep both pitchers stretched out.
Velasquez allowed one run on three hits and three walks while striking out six over four innings in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Braves. He didn't factor into the decision.
Velasquez had a rough outing his first time around this year, but he turned things around in the first game of Sunday's twin bill. He gave up a baserunner to begin the fifth inning prior to his removal, but the bullpen couldn't limit production during the rest of the frame en route to a 5-2 loss. However, Velasquez escaped with a no-decision. The right-hander will attempt to build on his momentum at home Friday against the Mets.
Velasquez will start the first game of Sunday's doubleheader against the Braves.
Though the Phillies will bring up top pitching prospect Spencer Howard ahead of the second half of the twinbill, there will temporarily be room for him and Velasquez to maintain starting roles with Philadelphia running out a six-man rotation while the team completes a stretch of six games in five days. The performances of Velasquez in the first game and Howard in the second game of the doubleheader will likely dictate which of the two gets the nod when a fifth starter is needed again Friday versus the Mets. Velasquez entered the season with little security in the rotation and didn't help his case by failing to escape the fourth inning in his 2020 debut July 26 versus the Marlins.
Velasquez will start one of the two games during Sunday's doubleheader after Friday's game was rained out, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.
With Jake Arrieta lined up to start Saturday, Velasquez's start will be pushed back two days as a result of Friday's postponement. It's unclear whether he'll start the first or second game Sunday. The starter for the other game in the doubleheader hasn't officially been named, but top pitching prospect Spencer Howard could line up to make his major-league debut.
Velasquez is tentatively slated to start Friday's game against the Braves, Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The Phillies will reorder their rotation after taking the past week off due to COVID-19-related concerns following their season-opening series with the Marlins. As a result, Velasquez lines up to start the first game of the Phillies' homestand Friday, assuming no postponements before the weekend result in other starting pitchers getting pushed back. After the Marlins tagged him for four runs over three innings in his season debut July 26, Velasquez may need a bounce-back outing Friday just to maintain his spot in the rotation. Top pitching prospect Spencer Howard is waiting in the wings at the Phillies' alternate training site and should get a look in the big-league rotation at some point in 2020.
Velasquez allowed four earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four across three innings Sunday against the Marlins. He did not factor into the decision.
Velasquez cruised through the first inning, striking out the final two batters he faced. However, he ran into trouble quickly in the second frame, during which he allowed two home runs that accounted for all of his earned runs. Velasquez claimed the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong summer camp, but his role could be in jeopardy with Spencer Howard nearing a callup to the big-league club.
Velasquez will start Sunday's series finale against the Marlins, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports.
The 28-year-old had yet to be confirmed as a member of the Phillies' starting rotation, but he'll take the mound in the final game of the opening series. Velasquez has been up and down over the past few seasons and posted a 4.91 ERA and 1.39 WHIP last season, but he's performed well in summer camp and may benefit from the change in the team's pitching coach this offseason.
Velasquez looked quite good in an intrasquad game Tuesday, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.
Velasquez threw four innings, striking out six while allowing just two hits and a single walk in his second impressive outing of summer camp. The Phillies haven't officially named him their fifth starter, but it seems as though he has the edge for the role, with manager Joe Girardi saying, "I don't think you can ignore what he's doing." Velasquez has continually failed to deliver on his promise in four seasons with the Phillies, struggling to a 4.91 ERA last season. However, a change in pitching coach could help improve his numbers this season, as the previous regime emphasized throwing up in the zone in a way that didn't seem to suit him well.
Velasquez's odds of securing a rotation spot to open the season could take a hit if the schedule is shortened, as that could allow the Phillies to promote top pitching prospect Spencer Howard as the fifth starter at the beginning of the campaign, Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Velasquez hadn't secured the fifth starter job before play was paused, as Nick Pivetta and Ranger Suarez were still in an open competition with him. Howard has only made six starts at the Double-A level, but his 34.8 percent strikeout rate, 0.83 WHIP and 2.03 ERA in 15 total minor-league starts last season offer a glimpse of his significant upside. The combination of Howard's talent and a potentially shortened season could conspire to relegate Velasquez to a long-relief role to start the season, though he'd likely be one of the first few options called upon should a starter get injured.
Velasquez allowed four runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts across four innings during a no-decision against the Marlins on Friday.
He didn't pitch long enough to qualify for a victory, but it didn't matter Friday because the Marlins and Phillies needed 15 innings to settle this affair. Velasquez had limited value down the stretch because he didn't pitch past the fifth frame after Aug. 5, but he did yield under three earned runs in four of his last six starts this year. He ends the season 7-8 with a 4.91 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 130 strikeouts in 117.1 innings.
|Last 7 Games|
|09/25||@ TB||L 4-6||4.1||6||3||2||6|
|09/19||vs TOR||W 3-1||1||6.0||2||1||3||6|
|09/14||@ MIA||L 2-6||1||3.2||7||4||1||5|
|09/08||vs BOS||L 2-5||5.0||7||2||0||9|
|08/30||vs ATL||L 10-12||2.0||1||0||3||2|
|08/20||@ TOR||L 8-9||5.0||5||4||2||7|
|08/13||vs BAL||L 4-11||1.0||2||2||1||1|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2013||AFX-Quad Cities River Ba||110.0||25||16||0||9||4||3||123||33||90||3.19||1.118|
|2015||AA-Corpus Christi Hooks||33.0||9||5||0||4||0||0||45||13||20||1.91||1.000|
|2016||AA-Reading Fightin Phil||5.0||1||1||0||1||0||0||3||1||2||1.80||0.600|
|2017||AAA-Lehigh Valley IronPi||2.0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||4.50||1.000|
|2017||AA-Reading Fightin Phil||3.0||1||1||0||0||0||0||4||1||3||6.00||1.333|