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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.

Anthems, first pitches and other ceremonial stuff

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The World Series is not just about the baseball. It’s about the bigger-than-usual stars singing the National Anthem, the more-famous-than-usual people throwing out the first pitch and all of the assorted to-do which surrounds the ballgames. Here is that sort of stuff for Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

First pitches:

  • Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1. Yastrzemski also threw out the first pitch of Game 1 in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Red Sox won each of those games and each of those World Series so, yeah, go with what works, right?
  • Members of the 2004 World Series Champions will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. It doesn’t say which members, so maybe my dream of Manny Ramirez doing it will work out after all. Hey, he played for the Dodgers too, so let’s make this happen, OK?

National Anthems:

  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of Game 1. This morning Peter Gammons tweeted that Taylor’s family helped build Fenway Park. Let’s file that under “interesting, but not so interesting that it’s really worth tracking down to confirm, so why not believe it?” Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
  • For Game 2 the National Anthem will be performed by the Boston Pops, with the Tanglewood Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus doing the singing. The Boston Pops are conducted by Keith Lockhart, who was a career .287/.354/.425 hitter in 37 postseason games with the Atlanta Braves. I mean, at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same Keith Lockhart. Again: not interesting enough to check so, like Gammons’ thing about James Taylor, let’s assume I’m right about this.

Play ball.