Throughout the 1 1/3 innings that he pitched, Vince Velasquez just never looked comfortable. He was constantly shifting around, gyrating and stretching on the mound until he finally admitted that something was up and he needed to exit. A few innings later, the Phillies announced that the diagnosis was a right flexor-pronator strain, which usually means a stint - sometimes lengthy - on the DL.
There have been suspicions about the health of Velasquez' arm since he was acquired from the Astros in the Ken Giles trade. Last season, Velasquez spent 16 days on the DL with a right biceps strain.
On some occasions, a flexor-pronator strain requires surgery, but usually gets better after several weeks of rest followed by a period of long-tossing and a few bullpen sessions before going on a rehab assignment. In other words, it's likely that Velasquez won't be seen until after the All-Star Break.
The Phillies were in need of another starter for Saturday's game since they optioned Zach Eflin to Lehigh Valley after his last start. They'll now need another starter from Lehigh Valley to take Velasquez' place in the rotation. It's likely that Ben Lively, who is 6-1, 2.40 in nine starts with the IronPigs, will be the first pitcher to be recalled. Lively has been with the Phillies on two other occasions this season, but has yet to make his major league debut. Nick Pivetta (5-0, 1.41) or possibly, Jake Thompson (2-5, 5.82) or even Eflin are possibilities to take Velasquez' spot on the roster. Eflin went 0-3 with a 6.13 ERA in eight starts with the Phillies this season.
The Phillies probably will make a move prior to Saturday to add someone to their bullpen.