Velasquez on DL, will undergo MRI

Starter exits game with right elbow flexor strain

Velasquez on DL, will undergo MRI

MIAMI -- Phillies starter Vince Velasquez left Tuesday's 7-2 loss at Marlins Park with a right elbow flexor strain after retiring just four batters. He was placed on the disabled list Wednesday, and the Phillies called up prospect Ricardo Pinto in his stead.

Velasquez will have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

"I'm just going to take it as it is and move on from there," Velasquez said. "The thing to do is accept the fact that it's just a flexor strain and try to be as optimistic as possible. I know mentally it's frustrating. If you get over that hump mentally, you'll be fine."

Velasquez's velocity was down -- his final pitch a 90.9-mph four-seam fastball to J.T. Realmuto in the second -- after throwing a 95-mph heater to Giancarlo Stanton to get a first-inning strikeout looking.

Velasquez strikes out Stanton

But Velasquez said it was with that pitch that he felt discomfort.

"The pitch I threw to Stanton, after that I felt a little numbness," Velasquez said. "You could tell when you don't have your full velocity, when you get to [the] extension side, there's a little irritation. You know your arm, you know your body; I knew it was time to mention something."

Velasquez went back out for the second inning, but he exited with one out after surrendering a home run to Marcell Ozuna and a double to Justin Bour.

Ozuna's solo home run

Three of his four outs were fly balls, and Velasquez threw only fastballs (16) and changeups (3) in the short stint. He retired the Marlins in order in the first inning, reaching 94.4 mph to Marlins leadoff batter Dee Gordon, who flied out to left. His 89.5-mph four-seamer to Christian Yelich induced a flyout to center.

But the second inning was a different story. The home run yielded to Ozuna was on a 90.3-mph fastball, and Bour rocketed a double to right.

Velasquez's day was finished after 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits. He threw 19 pitches (15 strikes).

It isn't the first time Velasquez has dealt with this type of injury. He had the same type of setback while in the Minors.

"Some people bounce back a week, two weeks. Who knows?" Velasquez said. "I'm very optimistic with myself. I've been gone a whole year from [Tommy John surgery]. I know what it's like, so I'm not worried at all."

Mackanin said he has seen Velasquez struggle with velocity in the past, but the right-hander had always overcome it in later innings.

"We've seen him before where he wondered why he's throwing 90, 91, 92," Mackanin said. "We've seen him do that before and regain his velocity after an inning or two. So I wasn't concerned because I wondered if he was throwing two-seamers and trying to start off easy and save it."

However, Mackanin said that in the second inning, catcher Cameron Rupp gave him a nod that something was up with Velasquez.

"I immediately took him out of the game," Mackanin said. "I'm not taking chances with anybody."

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.