MILWAUKEE — The Phillies activated Vince Velasquez from the injured list and placed him in the bullpen hours before Friday night’s series opener against the Brewers at Miller Park.
Velasquez has been on the injured list since May 11 because of a strained forearm. The right-hander has made two spot relief appearances with the Phillies, but he’s always been a full-time starting pitcher since the team acquired him before the 2016 season. It is uncertain if he is being transitioned to a reliever or being stashed in the bullpen just this weekend in case of an emergency.
Manager Gabe Kapler said after Thursday’s win in Chicago that Velasquez or Nick Pivetta will start Tuesday night against St. Louis. Friday’s move seems to indicate that Pivetta will return from triple A to make that start, as it would be unlikely for Velasquez to pitch Tuesday if he’s used this weekend.
Velasquez has made six starts this season and posted a 3.86 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 15 walks in 30 1/3 innings. He said earlier this week that he believed the rotation spot still belonged to him. Kapler seemed to disagree, saying the rotation spot was not “a right.” The manager said the team had dreamed about using Velasquez in a relief role.