Kapler on Velasquez: “It Certainly Gives us Optimism”
Is Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez finally starting to turn things around?
The right-handed had another solid outing on Wednesday against the Tigers, firing 5.2 shutout innings, allowing just four hits, with a season-high nine strikeouts to earn his second win of the season.
"It Certainly Gives us Optimism," said Phillies manager Gabe Kapler after the performance. "There is reason for excitement with Vince's outing today, and I think there are some things he could have done better."
The 27-year old has been up-and-down, dazzling at times with his electric fastball, but his lack of command has been a constant issue during his time in Philadelphia. However, the Phillies are making a conscience effort to try and work with him on better command of the strike zone.
"We're gonna stay focused on this north-south attack with him," Kapler added.
The ability to locate his fastball is key, but he needs to have better command. He threw 110 pitches in less than six innings of work, on Wednesday and that is going to need to improve to help the Phillies struggling bullpen.
"I feel very comfortable where I'm at," Velasquez said. It can only get better from here, keep going forward, I'm pretty excited for my next start."
We’ll see if this carries over in his next start against the Giants next Wednesday at Citizen’s Bank Park.