Pittsburgh Pirates: Vince Velasquez Close to Returning, Other Minor League Notes

May 4, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Vince Velasquez (27)
May 4, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Vince Velasquez (27) / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

Following a strong rehab outing on Saturday Vince Velasquez appears to be close to returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Henry Davis hits another home run, and other minor league notes

Falling to the Iowa Cubs 2-1 in game one of ther Saturday doubleheader, the Triple-A Indianapolis saw Vince Velasquez toe the rubber in a rehab outing. After a strong outing, it appears Velasquez is close to returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Velasquez allowed four hits, issued a walk, and struck out two in 4.2 scoreless innings pitched. He htrew 42 of 63 pitches for strikes and was able to work in all of his pitches. Assuming there are not setbacks, Velasquez should be in position to return to the Pirate starting rotation next weekend in Seattle.

Even though the Pirate starting rotation has the best ERA of any starting rotation in baseball since April11th with an ERA under 3.00. That said, getting Vleasquez back should still be a big boost for the Pirates. Prior to his injury, Velasquez was having a career year posting a 3.06 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 8.8% walk rate, and a 23.6% strikeout rate through his first seven starts of the season.

Game two of the doubleheader saw Indy fall to Iowa 1-0. After being swept, the Indians are now 20-23 on the season. Between the two games Canaan Smith-Njigba was 1-for-5 with a double and a walk. Endy Rodriguez and Nick Goznales were both 0-for-3, Cal Mitchell was 2-for-6 with a walk, and Jared Triolo was 1-for-2 with a walk and a double.

J.C. Flowers issued a walk and allowed a base hit in a scoreless 1st inning of game two while working as an opener. Fellow lefty Caleb Smith followed Flowers, allowing a run on six hits, no walks, and four strikeouts in 6 innings pitched.