PHILADELPHIA -- Javier Vazquez’s fastball velocity was down a couple of ticks on Friday, and manager Edwin Rodriguez said that he and pitching coach Randy St. Claire think they know the reason why.
“I think he’s not loading like he was doing before with his lower body,” Rodriguez said. “He went from 91 miles per hour (in his start in Houston) to 86, 87 (on Friday). In my opinion, I don’t think that’s an arm problem. I think that’s a mechanical problem.”
As a result, Vazquez won't make his next start until next Saturday.
Vazquez was taken out after completing five innings on Friday, an outing in which he gave up three runs, including two in the first inning. He has given up first-inning runs in each of his three starts so far.
“Yesterday, it was very obvious from our part that he wasn’t loading his lower body to throw his fastball,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes he gets too stiff with his right leg. It’s like hitting. Sometimes you have to load to generate power.”
Rodriguez said St. Claire will spend time this week with Vazquez to work on his mechanics.
“I don’t think he’s been close yet to what he’s capable of doing,” Rodriguez said. “And he’s still keeping us in the game. He’s going to help us a lot during the season.”
Vazquez isn't the only starter whose start is being moved back due to Saturday's rainout. Chris Volstad, who was scheduled to pitch Sunday, now won't go until Thursday. Anibal Sanchez, who was down to start Saturday, will instead pitch Sunday against the Phillies' Cole Hamels. Josh Johnson (Tuesday) and Ricky Nolasco (Wednesday) will remain in their normal slots.
- Rodriguez said he plans on starting Wes Helms at third on Sunday as Donnie Murphy continues to nurse a bruised left knee. Murphy left Friday's game after fouling a pitch off his knee.