Velasquez looks sharp in outing against Yankees

Velasquez looks solid in outing against Yankees
Vince Velasquez was impressive on Monday night in New York, surrendering four hits, one run, and one walk while striking out six in five-plus innings against the Yankees.

“Vince has pitched really, really well,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said following a 2-2 exhibition tie against the Yankees. “We have some decisions to make. But Vinny has been really impressive in this 2.0.”

It's looking likely that Velasquez will pitch this weekend as the Phillies open the regular season at Citizens Bank Park against the Marlins.

Girardi formally named Aaron Nola as the Opening Day starter but admitted there are some questions beyond who's starting on Friday. Zack Wheeler, who is supposed to be the No. 2 on the staff and the scheduled starter for Saturday, may miss the weekend series as his wife is due with their first child.

Zach Eflin, who has been battling back issues in camp, is pitching a simulated game on Thursday.

“There just happens to be a lot of moving parts,” Girardi said. “We’re trying to figure out exactly where Eflin is going to be. We have mothers expecting. I can’t really clarify it yet because we’re just not there. A lot of it will depend also on how Zach comes out on Thursday. And then, after that, there are some things we have to work through.”

Segura leaves game early
Jean Segura was hit by a pitch on his left hand in the second inning and left the game in the middle of the frame. He didn't have an X-ray in New York as an X-ray technician wasn't at the ballpark.

“The test that he did with the trainers came out all good,” Girardi said. “They’re pretty confident that he’s OK. Jean is confident he’s OK. I’m not sure if he’ll get it X-rayed tonight or tomorrow, but I hadn’t heard any plans of that yet.”

Roster move
The Phillies granted veteran righty Anthony Swarzak his unconditional release on Monday. The 34-year-old posted a 4.56 ERA over 59 appearances last season while splitting time with Mariners and Braves.

“We are probably going to go younger,” Girardi said. “I do feel comfortable with the arms that we have. The one thing about the beginning of the season is that we’re probably going to carry 16 pitchers, so you’re going to have a lot to choose from.”
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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