ST. LOUIS - It's going to be interesting to see how Vince Velasquez approaches his next start, scheduled for Sunday in Kansas City.
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Will he follow the game plan and throw what the catcher calls for?
Or will he color outside the lines again?
Manager Gabe Kapler expects Velasquez to stick to the game plan.
"We're going to ask that there be an adjustment made rather than letting it organically unfold," Kapler said Tuesday.
Velasquez shook off catcher J.T. Realmuto more than a few times in Monday night's start against St. Louis. Twice Velasquez shook to his power fastball and both times gave up homers en route to a 6-0 loss.
Realmuto, who, along with members of the coaching staff, spends an extensive amount of time watching video of opposing hitters and formulating a game plan, was not pleased that Velasquez did not follow the script (see story). The two spoke after the game and Velasquez was accountable, saying he needed trust to his catcher more.
Kapler and pitching coach Chris Young have also spoken with Velasquez.
"It's a neighborhood approach," Kapler said. "Vince is open to feedback. He showed up at the park today ready to work."
Kapler went on to explain how much time the catchers and coaches put into game-planning for opposing hitters.
"It makes a lot of sense that if Vinny can trust that game plan it will allow his stuff and his athleticism to be the difference between a great start and one that he's not as satisfied with," the manager said.
Kapler had no problem with Realmuto airing his frustration to reporters after Monday night's game.
"I thought his observations were spot-on and I'm really glad he illuminated what he illuminated," Kapler said. "It's nice to have veterans in the clubhouse who can address something like he addressed as sensitively as he did with a lot of awareness and a lot of accuracy. It's really helpful when those guys handle those types of things in the clubhouse.
"There wasn't a lot of demonstrative (shaking off of pitches) but as the game went on we started to notice it and then toward the end we really wanted to understand how much it was really happening and the right person to address that is J.T.
"He did exactly what he should have done in my opinion."
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