Phillies Place Vince Velasquez on the 15-Day Disabled List
The Phillies made a move that seemed almost certain after Wednesday afternoon's game against the Chicago Cubs. The Phillies announced that they have placed right-handed starter Vince Velasquez on the 15-day disabled list. The official diagnosis is a right biceps strain. To replace Velasquez on the roster, the Phillies have summoned right-handed reliever Luis Garcia from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The move does not totally answer the question of who would replace Velasquez in the starting rotation. Garcia, a reliever, would not be the starter. With yesterday's day off, the Phillies will pitch the four remaining starters tonight through Monday and need a starter in time for Tuesday afternoon's game in Toronto.
Brett Oberholtzer replaced Velasquez in relief on Wednesday and pitched admirably, going four innings and allowing just one unearned run. Oberholtzer was in consideration for the fifth spot in the starting rotation before Adam Morgan and Velasquez were named finalists. Oberholtzer has not made a start yet in 2016. With Garcia in the bullpen, the Phillies could let Oberholtzer throw on an off day and start him Tuesday.
David Buchanan interestingly pitched his last game for Lehigh Valley in relief. Buchanan pitched two and two-thirds innings of clean relief on Thursday, which would set him up to pitch on Tuesday if the Phillies wanted him to. Buchanan is on the 40-man roster, so he would be easy to recall. Buchanan is 3-4 with a 4.76 earned run average in 2016 for the IronPigs in 10 starts and one relief appearance.
Zach Eflin was scratched from his start Wednesday and started Thursday instead. In Thursday's start, Eflin took a hard-luck loss, pitching five and one-thirds innings and allowing two unearned runs. Eflin struggled in his two prior starts, allowing six earned runs in five innings and four earned runs in five and one-third innings, jumping his ERA from 2.05 to 3.14.
To pitch Eflin, the Phillies will have to add him to the 40-man roster, displacing another pitcher. The pitcher displaced may very well be Buchanan, who if not recalled is not serving the Phillies any real purpose. The Phililes have until Tuesday to decide.