Héctor Velázquez Pitches Well In Return With Paw Sox
Héctor Velázquez pitched very effectively Saturday night with the Paw Sox. He went 7 innings, giving up 2 runs, on 6 hits, he issued 1 walk, and had 7 K’s on 95 pitches (71 strikes). Velázquez was attacking the strike zone all night, showing us why Dave Dombrowski signed him from Mexico.
Héctor Velázquez is a contact pitcher, he’s not going to blow you away with anything. But tonight, he was hitting his spots on the corners, which lead to 7 strikeouts on the night (2 looking). 5 of the hits the Durham Bulls had were ground ball singles. The hardest hit balls off of Velázquez tonight were on the singles he gave up. All the other contact off of Velázquez was not hard at all.
“He made a couple of mistakes with 2 outs, but overall I thought he pitched well. He had an unpredictable mix. He gave up soft contact. I think three of the hits were bloop hits . But overall, job well done. He commands down in the zone, he changes eye levels. He threw a couple of split changeups and spun his breaking ball pretty well tonight” said Manager Kevin Boles after the game.
The only extra base hit off of Velázquez was hit by Willy Adames in the 1st inning. With one out, he hit a fly ball down the right field line. Since Adames is a right handed hitter, Bryce Brentz who was in right field was playing to pull. The ball hit by Adames was hit high and Brentz dove for it, and almost caught it but didn’t. Adames got into 2nd base safely with a double.
Velázquez Start With Boston Last Time Out
In his start with the Boston Red Sox on May 18th, he went 5 innings, giving up 9 hits, 6 earned runs, 3 home runs, 2 walks, and 4 K’s. Those three home runs was a career high in professional baseball.
“From what we saw in the video, he missed middle-middle, center cut. He calls his own game, and hes able to locate to both sides of the plate with a variety of pitches. He’s also able to miss where he wants to, and kill counts and finish down in the zone. He’s able to change eye levels with his fastball up. But he’s not a guy that can live, and there’s not many pitchers on the planet that can live center of the plate at the big league level. The ball was flattening out a little bit at the big leagues, and that’s just not him. He’s able to command all parts of the zone” said Boles, regarding his start with the Red Sox.
Based on these comments from Kevin Boles, maybe Héctor Velázquez could be a decent option for the Red Sox in their starting pitching depth. Yes, Brian Johnson is number one option for a spot start coming from Pawtucket, but Héctor Velázquez could be a good option for the Red Sox. His poor performance with the Red Sox against the Athletics may have been due to nervousness. In that start, he got away from what he normally does. Getting that one bad start under his belt might benefit him if the big club gives him a second chance.