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.
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.