Phillies starter Vince Velasquez left Tuesday’s start in Miami against the Marlins with a right flexor strain, the Phillies announced. Flexor injuries are serious, so Velasquez is certainly going to undergo an MRI, which will then determine the exact severity of the injury and a timetable for his recovery.
The 24-year-old right-hander lasted just 1 1/3 innings, yielding two runs (one earned) on two hits with no walks and one strikeout. Velasquez has struggled overall this season. He came into his start against the Marlins with a 5.55 ERA with a 52/21 K/BB ratio in 48 2/3 innings.
The Phillies acquired Velasquez as part of the return from the Astros in the Ken Giles trade in December 2015. Velasquez showed promise at times out of the rotation last season, such as his 16-strikeout shutout of the Padres in April 2016. But he’s been mostly inconsistent, a common theme among the Phillies’ youngsters.
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.
It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.
Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.
Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.