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:
Klentak: Phillies remain committed to Vince Velasquez as a starter in 2018. A 6-8 week recovery to repair vascular issue in finger.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 22, 2017
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.