Red Sox: A mea culpa for my articles during the 2017 season
By Rick McNair
Doug Fister was not a savior, but Fister was a competent pitcher when needed most. A reclamation from the baseball landfill that came in when Price became a question mark. Fister certainly did not impress anyone and was no puzzle to any hitters. This was a disaster in the making and I pointed out a far better option.
Fister’s first two starts were rather pedestrian pitching performances, but then the gates flew open and Fister was just pounded. In Fister’s next 10.2 innings he allowed nine earned runs and as far as I was concerned I had seen enough. Then it happened.
Fister took the hill for 11 starts to close out the season and the Red Sox were 7-4 in those starts and that certainly kept Boston on top in the division. Included in that streak was a masterful 114 pitch complete game win in Cleveland. But what about Hector Velazquez? I wanted Velazquez over Fister.
Velazquez first MLB start was quite forgettable with six runs allowed in five innings against Oakland, but the rest of the way Velazquez was impressive. In 19.2 innings of relief and starts Velazquez allowed just two earned runs. At Pawtucket, the right-hander was outstanding with an 8-4, 2.23 ERA.
Next season Velazquez will be 29-years-old and just may be an asset out of the bullpen and as a spot starter. And Fister could be resigned with the knee situation of Rodriguez.