Baseball Is Bad

This is not good.

The popular refrain around Vince Velasquez when he was a prospect was something along the lines of: “The stuff is excellent, but can he stay healthy?” And it looks like his health is back in question again.

Prior to being removed from the game, Velasquez made no obvious gestures as to what exactly was bothering him. He didn’t grab his elbow. He didn’t particularly grimace. He simply started the game without an ability to throw a baseball the way we all know he can. Given the long-term significance of a healthy Velasquez, expect the Phillies to exhibit an abundance of caution with this injury — whatever it may be.

In the likely scenario that Velasquez’s rotation spot needs to be filled, potential call-ups include: Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson, and Alec Asher. All three pitchers are performing well for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Asher is already on the 40-man roster which should give him a leg up if the diagnosis isn’t as dire as we fear and the Phillies only seek a short-term replacement. Eflin and Thompson are the superior prospects and are both likely to debut in Philadelphia at some point this summer on the strength of their fine performances in Triple-A. They’re also both just 22 years old and if one of them gets the call he would instantly become the youngest National League starting pitcher not named Julio Urias.

UPDATE 2:55 ET: As Kram209 pointed out in the comments, Asher is injured. With Severino Gonzalez’s move to the bullpen this season, this leaves David Buchanan as the only obvious rotation candidate on the 40-man roster. Buchanan is struggling this year in Triple-A with a 4.96 ERA and an awful 9.2% K-rate. It’s difficult to imagine him being called on for much more than a spot start at this point, but if the Phillies don’t believe Eflin and/or Thompson are ready, I suppose Buchanan could conceivably get the call.

Anyways, today stinks.

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  1. chris

    June 08, 2016 02:13 PM


    He always seemed on path to be a closer. This probably confirms it. He just doesnt have the durability to be a starting pitcher.

  2. Kram209

    June 08, 2016 02:33 PM

    Asher has a broken leg and is in a walking boot, in Clearwater.

    • Corinne Landrey

      June 08, 2016 02:51 PM

      Welp. Pitching is clearly very bad. Thanks, I missed that update.

      • Romus

        June 08, 2016 03:03 PM

        Got to admit however…great pun, I am sure not intended, on Asher with the’ leg up’.

    • ryan

      June 08, 2016 03:52 PM

      Man that stinks! I’ve been checking up on him a lot because I feel even though he’s not a stud prospect, I’d like it if they’d switch him and Morgan until trade deadline when Thompson and Eflin could come up. At least it’s not an arm issue, but still, after the year Asher’s been having I was really looking forward to watching him over the next month or two just before the rest of the fun prospects.

      That said, any reason against calling up Ben Lively? He hasn’t had a single bad start this year and is already 24. There are only 5 rotation spots available, and with Nola, Eikoff, Thompson and Eflin ahead of him, I’d like to see him get called up before he runs out of room.

  3. Romus

    June 08, 2016 02:53 PM

    A 2nd TJ would be very unfortunate for him.
    Hopefully it is just bicep soreness. and maybe skip a start or two and do bullpens.

  4. Francisco (FC)

    June 08, 2016 03:19 PM

    This is only the second post in the FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF category. Hopefully we won’t see another one for a looooooooooong time.

    • Romus

      June 08, 2016 04:13 PM

      What was the first in that category?

      • Corinne Landrey

        June 08, 2016 04:59 PM

        Hamels came back just fine, so I figured I’d bring back the tag just in case. Not that I’m superstitious or anything.

      • Romus

        June 08, 2016 06:49 PM

        Ben Davis speculated….but when it happened to him he referred it to ‘dead-arm’.
        Hopefully it has nothing to do with the shoulder tendons…or for that matter the elbow.

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