Boston Red Sox Call Up Hector Velazquez To Pitch On Thursday In Oakland
The Boston Red Sox have called up starting pitcher Hector Velazquez to pitch this Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.
Velazquez is 28-years-old and was signed by Boston this past spring after pitching for seven years professionally in Mexico. After an impressive Spring he was delegated to Triple-A Pawtucket, but with injuries in Boston he has been called up to make is major league debut.
To clear up space on the 40-man roster the Red Sox will likely place Steven Wright on the 60-day disabled list as Wright underwent season-ending surgery last week.
For Pawtucket this season Velasquez has shown excellence with a 1.55 ERA, 20 strikeouts, five walks, in 29 innings this season. One thing that has impressed the Red Sox coaching staff has been Velasquez’s ability to command the ball.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Farrell said. “It’s not about sheer velocity. It’s about pitching ahead in the count. I like the fact that late in camp he started to come up with a little more of an off-speed curveball to help spread the strike zone top to bottom. This is a guy who has a lot of experience, albeit not at the major league level, but still there’s a lot of savvy and strike throwing ability here.”
In Mexico last season Velazquez somehow managed to pitch an insane 246 innings, for that reason he has been kept under 100 pitches in Triple-A, even with a no-hitter going he was pulled before his pitch count elevated over 100. Despite this Farrell noted there will be no set pitch count on Thursday.
The reason why Velazquez is getting the start is simple, with Wright going down with a season ending injury Boston needed to use a guy from Pawtucket. But in spot starts Brian Johnson and Kyle Kendrick were disappointing for Boston, so now it is Velazquez’s turn to get a shot.
Also with Velazquez being a right-handed pitcher it gives the Boston Red Sox the ability to have a different look on the mound given their lefty depth.
“While Brian Johnson has thrown the ball well (in Triple A) as well,” said Farrell, “just felt like with the number of left-handers in our rotation currently, another right-hander would give us another different look.”