Rios Up, Eflin Hurt, and Velasquez Done for the Year

Today the Phillies…

  • Transferred Vincent Velasquez to the 60 day DL
  • Placed Zach Eflin on the 10 Day DL retroactive to 8/19
  • Purchased the contract of Yacksel Rios
  • Recalled Nick Pivetta as the 26th man to start game 2 of the doubleheader

We knew the Nick Pivetta recall was coming and there was a good chance that Eflin going to the DL given the whispers after he left his last start. The Phillies have not yet given a prognosis on Eflin’s recovery. It leaves the Phillies down yet another starting pitcher. With the double header today, the Phillies need another starter anyway, so Mark Leiter Jr will take Eflin’s spot and Thompson will take the hole in the rotation caused by the double header.

To bring up Rios, the Phillies needed a 40 man spot, and so Vince Velasquez’s season comes to an end with this:

It isn’t thoracic outlet surgery, so that is a big plus, but I also have no grip on what this means for Velasquez going forward from a lingering issue perspective. If the injury contributed to some of his struggles and he returns to just being maddeningly inconsistent then I think that is ok. Velasquez just turned 25 so it isn’t like he is at the end of his career. There is still no way of describing his year as anything other than a supreme disappointment.

As for Rios, the Puerto Rican righty will get rewarded for his breakout reason. A 12th round pick in the 2011 draft, Rios has had an up and down career in the Phillies’ system with periodic bouts of control issues and a couple velocity jumps. The current version of Rios sits 93-97, touching up to 98 with his fastball. His slider shows plus potential, but it needs more consistency. He throws a lot of strikes, but still does not always hit his spots. Despite missing some time to a minor injury, it has been a statistically dominating year for Rios between AA and AAA, and he posted a 1.92 ERA over 56.1 innings with 14 walks to 64 strikeouts. Rios might not have closer upside, but he has the raw stuff to be a 7th/8th inning reliever if he can continue to develop. He was slated to be a minor league free agent after the season so a September call up had long been logical, circumstances seem to have accelerated that timeline. Next season he will be part of a group of young righties (Pinto, Ramos, Therrien, all the failed starters) competing for bullpen spots.

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9 comments

  1. Dante

    August 22, 2017 02:47 PM

    “but I also have no grip”

    I see what you did there…

  2. Tony

    August 22, 2017 03:34 PM

    OT: Can you guys fix the site RSS feed? It hasn’t updated since 7/17 and I’ve been missing a lot of posts until I remember to visit the site’s front page every couple weeks.

    • Tony

      August 22, 2017 03:35 PM

      …and just like that it’s working again. Nevermind!

  3. Major Malfunction

    August 23, 2017 07:50 AM

    “Recalled Nick Pivetta as the 26th man to start game 2 of the doubleheader”

    That was a smart move for they certainly needed him to fill some innings on an over taxed bullpen and starting rotation.

    And he didn’t disappoint by being chased in the SECOND inning and leaving with a game score of 4. A FOUR! His ERA is now 6.73, a 5.27 FIP, and opponents have a .888 OPS against him. His AA and AAA success has not translated at all in MLB. Way too many BBs, hits, and HRs.

    • Romus

      August 23, 2017 08:27 AM

      The three RHPs they have that can light up the gun at mid-90s and higher guys….ViVe, Pivetta and Eflin….all struggle.
      They have inconsistent command location, inning-to-inning unreliable poor secondary pitches and let the game get away from them…perhaps poise is that issue.
      But all three have the same ill-effects that plagued Jake Arrieta in his first three years in Baltimore.
      So do you move on from them or hope they turn into an Arrieta?

      • Chris S

        August 23, 2017 09:19 AM

        Unfortunately it comes down to consistency. Pivetta and VV have stuff that can dominate against anybody, but they aren’t consistent. Some times it takes time example would be Arrieta or Scherzer. Other times it never pans out example would be Vicente Padilla. Definitely worth throwing them out there to see if they can figure it out at the major league level.

  4. Andrew R.

    August 23, 2017 12:28 PM

    I was at both games last night…..brutal. After watching and getting frustrated it appears we have a lot of AAAA pitchers. They’re good for depth to be shuttled up and down, but can’t be counted in for 30 starts at the mlb level. Phillies need to focus on pitching whether via trade or free agent signing. We can depend on Nola and to some extent, Eickhoff. That’s it.

    • Romus

      August 23, 2017 01:48 PM

      Lively could surprise. He seems to know how to pitch and his velo apparently ticked up a few notches from what I recall seeing him at LHV last season, and he touched 94 the other day vs the Giants, if that is possible. Brooks has him at 91-93 but oddly his sinker is a tick faster. He could be a legitimate steal from that Marlon Byrd trade a few years ago.

      • Chris S

        August 23, 2017 02:44 PM

        Lively is already a steal from that Marlon Byrd trade just by making it to the Big Leagues. Pivetta was also a good get for Papelbon. Those two trades and the Cole Hamels trade have either produced good results so far or have shown enough to be excited about their future.

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