Bill Baer

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Vince Velasquez #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies catches the ball after giving up a second home run to Adonis Garcia #13 of the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning of the game at Citizens Bank Park on September 3, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Braves won 6-4 in the 10th inning. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

Phillies shut down Vince Velasquez


The Phillies have decided to shut starter Vince Velasquez down for the remainder of the season,’s Todd Zolecki reports. Velasquez started on Saturday night against the Braves, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

Velasquez, 24, hadn’t pitched more than 124 2/3 innings in a full season at the professional level. His seven innings Saturday put him at 131 for the 2016 season. The Phillies have been collaborating with the right-hander’s agent Scott Boras, monitoring his workload throughout the season.

Velasquez ends his season with an 8-6 record, a 4.12 ERA, and a 152/45 K/BB ratio. He was one of several players the Phillies received from the Astros in the Ken Giles trade this past winter. While Velasquez made headlines with a dominating 16-strikeout shutout of the Padres on April 14, he battled inefficiency, reaching the seventh inning only three times in 24 starts. He also failed to reach the sixth inning in 11 starts. Some believe Velasquez profiles better as a reliever going forward.

New catcher A.J. Ellis, acquired from the Dodgers earlier this month for Carlos Ruiz, gave Velasquez a homework assignment for the remainder of the season. Ellis told Velasquez to watch Zack Greinke‘s starts with the Dodgers. Ellis sees similarities between Velasquez and Greinke, as both utilize fastballs and power changeups.

Doug Glanville explains why he still stands for the national anthem

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 30:  Center fielder Doug Glanville #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies walks on the field during the MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco, California on April 30, 2002. The Phillies won 8-2. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

In the wake of the controversy surrounding 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision not to stand for the national anthem, former major leaguer Doug Glanville penned a column for US News & World Report explaining why he still chooses to stand for the national anthem.

Glanville, a black male athlete, has had to deal with racism throughout his life. For example, he writes that his academic achievements at an Ivy-league college were “chalked up to affirmative action,” and his athletics achievements were chalked up to “natural talent.” Furthermore, Glanville recalls two times in the last two years someone made an assumption about him simply by the color of his skin. Two years ago, Glanville was shoveling his own driveway when a police officer parked his car, walked up to him, and asked, “So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?” He wrote about that incident of racial profiling at The Atlantic. Glanville also recalls when he tried to get a taxi in Los Angeles and a driver told him to take the bus instead.

Despite that, Glanville still stands for the national anthem.

Kaepernick made me think of why I salute the flag and I am thankful that I finally had to answer that question. I have come to realize people salute it for a variety of reasons. It could be nostalgia, thinking about the good old days, the traditions, the memories, the way is used to be, the way it should still be, the sacrifice, honoring history. It could be about today, the America that has a world presence, a fantastic Olympic team, a lot of resources, more diversity than ever, a black president, a female nominee, an inspiration to freedom. It could be about the future, what I hope for, what I see in America’s greatest potential, the dreams of people who came before me. It accepts that we are not there yet and what makes us American is our constant competitive spirit to get there.

When up against the most difficult aspects of our racial reality, it is important to understand that so many people do not even know what to fight or how to fight it. Fighting an enemy that is so clearly visible in the moment, that instantaneously retracts into the shadows in its aftermath, creates desperation. We have seen horrific violence as a response, we have seen a rejection of our sacred symbols and servants in the most public forums. It stems from deep, unaddressed issues that have festered since the dawn of our country, and via institutions that perpetuate it to a privileged gain. So people are scared, as I imagine Kaepernick is, lost, afraid to get pulled over, having conversations like I am with their eight-year-old son because he is on the darker side of the color scale. Conversations that should be reserved for an 18 year old.

What makes Glanville’s column great, though, beyond being well thought out and reasoned, is that he doesn’t try to tell Kaepernick or anyone else what he or she should or should not do. Standing, or not standing, is a choice people make for themselves. Neither is inherently right or wrong. Glanville, being aware of and having experienced racism in similar ways as Kaepernick has, chooses to stand but that does not invalidate Kaepernick’s decision to sit.

Report: Dodgers will recall Yasiel Puig this weekend

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig looks to the dugout for signs as he steps out of the batter's box while facing Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jordan Lyles in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2016, in Denver. Puig drew a walk, the first of three in a row yielded by Lyles. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Despite a disintegrating relationship within the Dodgers organization and whirling trade rumors, outfielder Yasiel Puig will be recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to join the big league team some time this weekend, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports.

The minor league season ends soon, so Puig will be able to get some additional playing time through early October. The 25-year-old has had a disappointing year, batting .260/.320/.386 with seven home runs and 34 RBI in 303 plate appearances.

The 74-59 first-place Dodgers have managed to get by despite Puig, a slew of injuries, and an underperforming Josh Reddick.

And, hey, speaking of injuries, ace Clayton Kershaw will make a rehab start with High-A Rancho Cucamonga this weekend, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports.