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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.

Larry Walker to wear a Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque

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I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.

While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.

There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.

Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.

Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.

Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice.  And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.