The Philadelphia Phillies continue to spiral downhill and they got more bad news on Tuesday night. Starter Vince Velasquez exited in the second inning and he apparently has a a right elbow flexor strain. He also missed time last season with a right biceps strain.
Not good. Official word: Velasquez left with right elbow flexor strain— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) May 31, 2017
According to Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. David Geier, a flexor-pronator strain can either result from an acute event or can develop as a result of overuse. A pitcher who has an acute flexor-pronator strain will remember a specific throw where he felt sharp pain on the medial side of the elbow. His pain will usually be located just past the bony prominence on the inside of the elbow. He often will have pain flexing the wrist or pronating the forearm.
Most of the time, a flexor-pronator strain is treated with rest from pitching for several weeks to give the tendons time to heal. Ice and physical therapy can also be helpful to decrease the athlete’s symptoms. As the pain improves, the pitcher will be started on a long toss program prior to returning to full pitching. The Phillies are likely going to perform more tests to make sure Velasquez won't need surgery to repair anything.
With Velasquez bound for the disabled list, it looks like the Phillies will turn to Ben Lively to fill his spot in the rotation. There's not a timetable for his return, but it may be time for the team to test him out in the back end of the bullpen when he comes back.
Velasquez will go on the disabled list. Phils need a pitcher Saturday; that will likely be Ben Lively. Need another one after that for VV— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) May 31, 2017
Lively, 25, is 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA this season with the Ironpigs and he has an impressive 2.69 ERA in 101 career minor league games. The Phillies acquired Lively back in December 2014 from the Reds in exchange for Marlon Byrd. Lively doesn't have blow you away kind of stuff in his pitching arsenal, but his numbers have been strong ever since joining the Phillies organization. Last season, he went 18-5 with a 2.69 ERA in 28 starts between Double-A and Triple-A.