WASHINGTON -- The Phillies have no clear answers for a fifth starter, but they could be leaning toward Vince Velasquez again for Friday night’s series opener against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
“There’s at least some sentiment that Vince can still be our starter every time through the rotation,” manager Gabe Kapler said.
But Kapler said that does not mean Velasquez is back in the Phils’ rotation. Velasquez started Sunday’s series finale against the Braves at SunTrust Park. He allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 15-1 loss.
“I definitely did not say that,” Kapler said. “I’m not saying we’ve made that decision by any stretch. Going back to yesterday, we had to see who was available out of our bullpen, and we’re not going to sacrifice today’s game or a game five days from now if we think we can win today’s game. Keeping Vince available on Saturday was really important to us, and not just for two or three batters, but maybe even more than that. That’s why we didn’t announce Vince was starting until I talked to him after that game and then the morning of.”
So it sounds like Velasquez is in line to start Friday, unless the Phillies need to use him in relief later in this series against the Nationals. Kapler also said he did not think telling Velasquez he would start on short notice affected the right-hander's performance on Sunday.
Velasquez said Sunday he had no problems with Kapler's decision.
Herrera’s leave is extended
Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera’s administrative leave has been extended through July 1.
Herrera waived his initial appearance in Atlantic City (N.J.) Municipal Court on Monday. Herrera had been arrested there and charged with simple assault on May 27. Administrative leave is pursuant to MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. As required by that policy, Herrera has not set foot on the Phils’ premises at Citizens Bank Park since May 27. He is pursuing baseball activities on his own.
The Atlantic City Police said the court will schedule another hearing for Herrera.
Quinn rejoins the team
The Phillies activated Roman Quinn from the 10-day injured list and optioned outfielder Nick Williams to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for Quinn on the 25-man roster. Quinn started Monday night’s series opener in center field against the Nationals.
If Quinn can perform and remain healthy, it would be a boost to the Phils’ outfield. The unit is severely depleted with Herrera on administrative leave, Jay Bruce nursing a tight left hamstring, Andrew McCutchen lost for the remainder of the season, Adam Haseley on the IL with a strained left groin and Triple-A outfielder Dylan Cozens out for the rest of the season following left foot surgery.
Injury and roster updates
• The Phillies placed right-hander Jerad Eickhoff on the IL with right biceps tendinitis. Eickhoff told Kapler he had been managing the issue since at least late last month. Eickhoff is 1-3 with a 10.16 ERA in his last seven appearances. The Phils recalled right-hander Edgar Garcia to take Eickhoff's place in the bullpen.
• Catcher J.T. Realmuto did not start for the second consecutive game after a foul ball struck him between the legs Saturday in Atlanta.
“He’s a little sore,” Kapler said.
• Bruce was likely available to pinch-hit Monday.
• Right-hander Tommy Hunter began a rehab assignment Monday with Class A Advanced Clearwater.
• Infielder Phil Gosselin cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A.