Vince Velasquez says he's ready to pitch early next week


SAN FRANCISCO – Vince Velasquez is back with the Phillies. He was in uniform and threw in the bullpen before Friday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants. If he checks out OK Saturday – and Velasquez was confident that he would – he will be inserted into the rotation early next week in Arizona.
Velasquez went on the disabled list after suffering a mild right biceps strain on June 8. He passed a test with a strong rehab start at Double A Reading on Wednesday.
Assuming Velasquez bounces back well after Friday’s bullpen session, he could either pitch Monday or Wednesday. Adam Morgan’s spot comes up Monday. He has a 6.55 ERA in 11 starts and could be sent to the minors to get things straightened out. Manager Pete Mackanin did not rule out the possibility of sending Morgan to the bullpen, a move that would necessitate subtracting a reliever from the current bullpen. Still another possible landing spot for Velasquez could be Wednesday if it was determined that Zach Eflin needed more time in the minors.
More will be known Saturday, Mackanin said.
Velasquez, 24, is a power arm and potential rotation building block for the Phillies. He has a history of arm problems – he is a Tommy John surgery veteran – so the Phillies will be careful with his workload the remainder of the season. That was the plan all along as Velasquez has reached 100 innings in a season just once in his career.
General manager Matt Klentak long ago said Velasquez would have an innings cap this season, though he would not disclose it. Velasquez said he and his agent, Scott Boras, have discussed an innings limit of “150-something, 160 tops.” Phillies club president Andy MacPhail indicated that the pitcher, his representatives and the team were “all in the same ballpark philosophically.”
Velasquez has pitched 61 2/3 innings in the majors and five in the minors this season.

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