The Phillies have decided to shut starter Vince Velasquez down for the remainder of the season, MLB.com’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.