Why is Vince Velasquez still here?
You don’t need me to tell you this, but Vince Velasquez is horrible.
The Phillies’ hot start to the season was quickly dampened by a brutal 8-4 loss to the New York Mets. Joe Girardi’s inexplicable benching of a hot Rhys Hoskins and Adam Haseley definitely hurt the team’s chances before they could even take the field. Pair that with the pitching matchup of Matt Moore vs. Marcus Stroman, and the outlook was pretty bleak. Even with the odds stacked against the Phils from the start, Vince Velasquez found a way to hand the Mets the game in only two innings work.
The sequence of events that occurred after Vince took the mound can only be described as the most Vinny Velo thing to have ever happened. It’s not a pretty turn of phrase, but his time on the bump wasn’t pretty either. The Phillies were only trailing 2-1 when he entered the game in the 6th. To my surprise, he didn’t get shelled. In fact, he went ahead and struck out the side in 14 pitches. I damn near spat out some of my locally brewed light lager when I saw him deal like that.
Yeah, that did not last long at all.
For an inning, Philadelphia and myself thought, after all these years, Vince had finally figured it out. But what I did not account for was his flagrant disregard for the art of pitching. The true Vinny V showed up in the 7th inning, walked four batters, brought in a run without a ball in play, and made me want to cannonball into the Schuylkill in a pair of cement boots all in the span of 1.1 innings pitched. What a talent.
The final stat line for our good friend? 4 earned runs, 4 strikeouts, 4 walks, and ZERO hits. The only time I want to see 4-4-4 is on a Wendy’s menu after a night of alcoholic beverages. No pitcher in the history of MLB baseball has had that line. Ever. Not to mention, he single-handedly lost us our 162-0 season, and, quite frankly, I’ll never forgive him for it.
I seriously do not know why I was even surprised. The Mets batters he struck out clearly had a bad scouting report or some stupid analytical approach to take on Vince’s absolutely garbage stuff. Two of those Ks in the 6th were looking strikeouts, and the Mets at the plate looked like their eyes were glazed over.
So, I gotta ask, why is Vince Velasquez still in a Phillies uniform?
It’s been six years of this crap and Vince is still Vince. He gives us flashes of greatness and then multi-week stretches of primo dumpster juice. It boggles my mind how so many fans, myself included, still saw him as some sort of “enigma” that can turn it around. Hell, Drew Smith has written an article every single year asking himself “Is this finally the year for Vinny Velasquez?“. It’s getting sad at this point.
Maybe Dave Dombrowski wants to keep him around just to get a look at him, and I kind of get that, but he needs to think of the fans. He just got here, we’ve been here all six years. So Dave, here’s my ultimatum: get Vinny out of town, or teach him how to hit and throw him in left field. The choice is yours.
Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images