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Vince Velasquez had offseason surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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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.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

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The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.

The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.

Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.