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Pitching shakeup: Velasquez done for season; Phils sign Alvarez

UPDATE: As if the news below wasn’t enough, Jon Heyman just reported the Phillies have signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league contract.

The 27-year-old Venezuelan, who found success with the Marlins from 2013-14, was pitching for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League (Independent). He was 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA, 13 strikeouts and 14 walks for the Ducks. In 2016 he went 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA, 25 strikeouts and 8 walks in the Oakland system.


A round of roster moves were made before the Phillies’ doubleheader Tuesday against the Miami Marlins.


  • Nick Pivetta: added to 26-man roster (doubleheaders get 26 spots) and will start tonight.
  • Zach Eflin: 10-day disabled list with a shoulder injury.
  • Vince Velasquez: 60-day disabled list; opens 40-man roster spot.
  • Yacksel Rios: added to 40-man roster and promoted to Philadelphia.

That’s a lot. The big news is Velasquez, after having a seemingly minor blister in his last start, is done for the season. This year has been a battle for the righty, who’s been injured and ineffective. It’s possible he’ll be transitioned to the bullpen for 2018, but don’t expect the Phils to give up on him – he has great stuff and his value is super low right now.

Eflin is an enigma at this point. Don’t rely on him being in the rotation through the rest of the season. From here out, expect (barring any other problems) Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Pivetta, Ben Lively and Mark Leiter Jr. to get the calls. Jake Thompson is another option but hasn’t pitched very well. Thomas Eshelman remains off the 40-man roster.

As for Rios, a great story. He lit up Reading and pitched well in Lehigh Valley. Our Corey Sharp interviewed him earlier in the year. Let’s see if we have a good thing here.

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