Last August, Phillies starter Vince Velasquez was placed on the 10-day disabled list with what was characterized as a “right middle finger injury.” Shortly thereafter, Velasquez underwent season-ending surgery to repair a vascular issue with his right middle finger. GM Matt Klentak said that Velasquez did not have thoracic outlet syndrome, even though Velasquez visited Dr. Robert Thompson, considered one of the foremost experts on TOS.
It turns out that Velasquez did have TOS and he underwent surgery during the offseason remove his first rib, Joseph Santoliquito of Philly Voice reports. The Phillies never shared this information — which is weird — as searches on Twitter and their press release archive have come up empty.
Velasquez said, “I had that surgery this offseason. I had that thoracic outlet syndrome, but it wasn’t really labeled thoracic outlet syndrome. They removed my first rib, but whatever. What I’m saying is the opportunity to bounce back and stay in the game and not have any injuries, I’m actually more thankful about that part than anything else. I can say this is the healthiest I’ve been in five years – it’s prolonging to that point.”
Velasquez, 25, has been slowed by injuries throughout his baseball career. He had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in September 2010, battled a biceps injury in June 2016, and dealt with a flexor strain his right elbow last May along with TOS. Velasquez carries a 5.05 ERA with a 50/14 K/BB ratio in 41 innings this season. He has shown flashes of greatness, like when he struck out 12 Giants over six innings in his most recent start, but he has also been inconsistent as has been the case throughout his four years in the majors.