Vince Velasquez was scratched Thursday night with numbness in his right index finger, forcing the Phillies to replace the starting pitcher less than 20 minutes before the first pitch of the series finale with Miami.
Velasquez returned to the clubhouse after briefly warming up. David Hale, the team’s long reliever, filled in as a spot starter.
Velasquez entered Thursday with a 2.84 ERA in five starts after returning to the rotation. It was the pitcher’s most consistent stretch of his career. He reached the sixth inning in three straight starts and seemed to have a hold of a rotation spot. And now the Phillies will try to determine why his finger went numb Thursday night.
“Honestly, man, I have a sense of direction of what I’m doing,” Velasquez said after his last start on May 14. “I know what I’m doing. I know where I need to be. Certain positions of my body, I know where I need to stand. I know how I need to feel the next day to get ready. It’s just a matter of preparation. You’re only going to be as good as you prepare. I’ve been doing that on an everyday basis and I think the consistency factor has shown because of the work that I’m putting in.”