Well, it is that time of year again for Phillies fans. This is the part of Spring Trai… excuse me, Summer Camp* where we talk ourselves into the idea that Vince Velasquez is going to breakout.
It has been an incredibly strong start to this hybrid version of a 2020 campaign for Vinny. Last night we saw a very strong performance from Vince, posting a stat line of 5 IP 4 H 1 ER and 6 K against an elite Yankees lineup. But the stats don’t tell the whole story; Vince himself looked elite.
It appears Vince used the extra time off to continue to hone his craft, as he appears to have added a Cutter which looks pretty damn good.
But that’s not all, his entire repertoire was absolutely phenomenal last night. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Keep in mind, this is against the Yankees. I do understand this is Summer Camp and guys are still trying to get up to speed, but the movement on those pitches tells the story.
Now of course, I do feel obligated to point out that Vinny did manage to throw 25 pitches in the first inning. If you have been a Phillies fan this past half decade, you know this is the norm for Vince.
Now look, I am well aware we have been down this road before. It seems like an eternity ago when Vince struck out 16 Padres in a complete game shutout in his first ever start in Philadelphia. The talent is there, we have known for years now that Vinny could strikeout hitters with the best of them. The issue he consistently runs into is attempting to strike out every hitter he faces. Since his debut with the Phillies, Vince has become so well known for getting ahead of hitters 0-2 only to come back and work it to a full count.
Now at 28 years old, we are past the point where we can continue to say Vince is a young player. You would think he is now right in his prime. You have to figure Vince is running out of chances in this Phillies rotation. It is quite possible, this may be his final crack at solidifying his role.
Speaking of the rotation, it sure is an enormous question mark for the Phillies in 2020. At the top they have Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Aside from that, you are left with just a bunch of question marks. Of course you have veteran Jake Arrieta, but how much does he have left? After that, you have Zach Eflin (who I am high on) and you have Nick Pivetta and Vince. Now of course, the Phillies do have top prospect Spencer Howard waiting on the wings. However, it is imperative they get a guy like Vince to emerge if they have playoff aspirations this fall.
The Phillies appear to have the bats to succeed in 2020. Having a guy like Vince Velasquez emerge and give the Phillies that 3rd good Starting Pitcher could make all the difference in the world.
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