Get Excited for Another Year of Andrew Knapp and Vince Velasquez

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

BIG news coming out of the Phillies’ camp.

They’ve made two HUGE acquisitions, acquisitions that will surely get the fan base fired up for the 2021 season (thick sarcasm).

Everybody’s favorite backup catcher is returning for more:

And if that doesn’t get your blood pumping, this will:

Man, the Phillies are just killing it right now. Knapp? Vinny Velo? No General Manager in place? I’m ready to run through a brick wall for this team!

But on a more serious note:

Regardless of whether J.T. Realmuto signs elsewhere, they still need a backup catcher. Knapp is cheap, serviceable, and actually had a pretty good 2020 hitting the baseball. He finished this COVID season with a .278 batting average and .404 on-base percentage, which were both career highs. His OPS of .849 was up significantly from a piddly .624 number in 2019. You can do worse for second-string catcher.

They might lose Realmuto but could try to fill that spot with.. I don’t know. Free agent Kurt Suzuki? Wilson Ramos? James McCann (who the Mets reportedly like)? A veteran dude comes in, Knapp backs him up, and then John Middleton decides to start spending money again? Maybe that’s wishful thinking. I don’t know.

Velasquez, meantime, found himself in the bullpen for a second straight season but found his way back into the rotation when that crop of double-headers hit the schedule. He’s 28 years old, he’ll compete for the 5th spot in the rotation, and maybe new pitching coach Caleb Cotham can make some sort of breakthrough with him. Maybe Vince can break through, into the 6th inning for once! (lame joke)

My money is on VV finding his way to the bullpen again, where the Phils desperately need help, so that’s not the worst scenario here. We’re trying to look at the depressing Phillies glass as being half full.

The Phils also tendered Rhys Hoskins and agreed to deals with Zach Eflin, David Hale, Seranthony Dominguez, and Hector Neris.

I’m pumped for this team. Can’t wait until pitchers and catchers report!

It’s Phillies SZN

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