That procedure that Vince Velasquez was supposed to get this week to address a vascular issue ...
"I just want to get a second opinion," the Phillies pitcher said Friday. "Who wants to jump to conclusions too quick? I mean, if you have options to choose from."
Velasquez is on the disabled list and finished for the remainder of the season because of a blood flow issue that has affected his right middle finger — on his pitching hand. The problem surfaced on Aug. 10 when he had to leave his start against the New York Mets after one inning because the finger was numb and blue. Velasquez held his hand in front of him on Friday and invited a reporter to grasp it. The finger had a bluish hue to it and was colder than the fingers on his left hand.
"Crazy, huh?" he said.
Velasquez, 25, saw a specialist in St. Louis on Monday. On Tuesday, the team said the pitcher would have a minor surgical procedure in the area of his armpit to address the problem.
"That was the original plan," Velasquez said. "I made the decision as far as having a second opinion."
He said he would see a doctor in Dallas on Tuesday.
Is there a chance he could avoid a surgical procedure?
"There might be a possibility," he said. "Again, we're going to see what this doctor says and we'll go from there and then we'll sit down and see what we're going to do, and if there is an operation that needs to be done, I can pick and choose who I want to be operated on by."
Velasquez indicated that he has some type of a blockage, but he is not worried about continuing his career next season.
"There's some kind of pinch, I guess, and it's limiting blood flow to the tip of my finger," he said. "There may be some loose cartilage or something down there at the tip of my finger that's preventing it from having that blood flow.
"The cause is up here (armpit) but it's restricting it down there (finger) due to maybe loose cartilage or something down there. That's the question as far as why is it just here in the middle finger?"
Velasquez said he was optimistic that whatever course of action he chooses, the problem can be fixed.
"Yes, 100 percent," he said. "It's very minor. I'll definitely be ready for spring training. The recovery is quick. I'll have more answers next week."