By Sam Bush
Just how many lives does pitcher Vince Velasquez have with the Phillies?
This is the sixth season he has been in the organization, and perhaps his last chance to figure out how to stick.
President Dave Dombrowski said Saturday that Vinny Velo (oblique) is on track to begin the season in the bullpen.
The decision to option lefty reliever JoJo Romero to the Lehigh Valley alternate site clinched a spot in the bullpen for Velasquez, who will open the season as the long man/No. 6 starter.
He hasn’t appeared in a spring game since March 9 due to an oblique injury, which effectively took him out of the running for a spot in the rotation.
The injury apparently won’t disqualify Velasquez from making the opening day roster as a reliever, provided he’s able to face hitters without issue before camp ends.
The Phillies could revisit the idea of using Velasquez as as starter once the oblique injury is further in the rear-view mirror and if he has some time to get fully stretched out.