Red Sox have solid starting rotation depth to cover for injuries
Hector Velazquez is a bit of a wildcard here. Until this past year, Velazquez had only pitched in the Mexican League. He started his first season with the organization in Pawtucket; in his stint in Rhode Island, the 28-year-old righthander enjoyed a highly successful season, evidenced by a 2.21 ERA.
This success continued throughout a brief run with the Major League club in which Velazquez maintained an ERA under three for 24.2 innings. But scratching a bit below the surface reveals that much of this success might have been a mirage.
To start, Velazquez had a BABIP hovering around .250 at both levels. As is well evidenced, pitchers have very little control over BABIP year-to-year, signaling that regression to the mean is likely. This is coupled with a LOB% that toppled 80% and a strikeout rate that dipped below seven K’s per nine both in Boston and Pawtucket.
Velazquez’s ability to make the big league club is also hampered by the fact that he has two options remaining. Unless their hand is forced, the Red Sox seem unlikely to give Velazquez a shot before any of the above options. But if Velazquez tears up Triple-A again and if the Red Sox scouts think he’s the type of pitcher that might outperform his peripherals, perhaps he will see significant time with the club later in the season.