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Velasquez to have season-ending surgery

Right-hander placed on 60-day DL, set for procedure to alleviate finger issue
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Vince Velasquez's disappointing second season with the Phillies officially ended Tuesday.

The team announced that Velasquez has been placed on the 60-day disabled list and will have surgery later this week to alleviate a vascular issue with his right middle finger. A specialist in St. Louis confirmed Monday that an area in Velasquez's upper right arm is restricting blood flow to the finger.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Vince Velasquez's disappointing second season with the Phillies officially ended Tuesday.

The team announced that Velasquez has been placed on the 60-day disabled list and will have surgery later this week to alleviate a vascular issue with his right middle finger. A specialist in St. Louis confirmed Monday that an area in Velasquez's upper right arm is restricting blood flow to the finger.

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The Phils believe the procedure will resolve it. Recuperation is six to eight weeks, and Velasquez is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

"I don't want to call it a lost season, but it's a shame that he couldn't finish up," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

Velasquez will finish 2017 at 2-7 with a 5.13 ERA in 15 starts, covering 72 innings. He went 8-6 with a 4.12 ERA in 24 starts last season, pitching 131 innings. Some believe Velasquez's overpowering fastball ultimately plays better in the bullpen, but he is expected to continue as a starter, although the Phils will again have to monitor his workload.

"Every time Vince goes out there, the stuff that he displays, particularly the fastball, the swing-and-miss fastball, that's something you can't teach," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said before Tuesday's doubleheader against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. "There's a lot of things we can work on with players, the players can improve upon. The ability to miss bats with a fastball is a God-given skill that Vince possesses, and that's why we believe he still has a lot of upside."

One thing working in Velasquez's favor is that none of the team's other young starters -- Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin, Ben Lively, Mark Leiter and Jake Thompson -- have established themselves as locks to make next season's rotation, other than Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff.

Video: PHI@COL: Velasquez freezes Story to escape jam in 1st

"We have to see how the rest of the organization aligns around him," Klentak said. "We'll see what the offseason brings us as far as additional acquisitions are concerned, but the hope would be that Vince would still be a starter."

"At this point, there hasn't been any talk, at least with me, about what his future is as a starter or reliever," Mackanin said. "That's not even an issue, whether he's going to continue to start. As far as I'm concerned, he's one of our starters amongst many and we'll have to re-evaluate that at the end of the year."

But the Phils made it clear Tuesday they remain enticed by Velasquez's potential.

"Obviously his stuff and his style of pitching lends itself to that type of outing on occasion," Klentak said, referring to Velasquez's 16-strikeout shutout against the Padres in April 2016. "Once he gets through this setback, we need to get him back, get him on a roll and put him in position to hopefully do that again."

Video: ATL@PHI: Velasquez tosses seven scoreless innings

Eflin to DL

The Phillies placed right-hander Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder. They recalled right-hander Yacksel Rios from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place on the 25-man roster.

The Phils are hopeful that Eflin will miss only one start.

"He's feeling better every day," Klentak said.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Vince Velasquez