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Vince Velasquez exits Thursday’s start after one inning

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Vince Velasquez recorded outs on the first two Mets batters he faced in the first inning of Thursday evening’s start, but went on to have a 32-pitch frame. Yoenis Cespedes doubled, Michael Conforto walked, and Wilmer Flores bashed a three-run home run. After Jose Reyes doubled, Velasquez got out of the inning when Travis d'Arnaud lined out. Mark Leiter took the mound to start the second inning.

Velasquez has averaged about 94 MPH on his fastball this season, but he topped out at 92 MPH tonight. The right-hander missed a month and a half earlier this season with a right elbow flexor strain.

After Thursday’s performance, Velasquez is carrying a 5.13 ERA with a 68/34 K/BB ratio over 72 innings. He was the biggest name in the Phillies’ haul coming from the Astros in the Ken Giles trade.

The Phillies should have more on Velasquez’s status later tonight.

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

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The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.