Hector Velazquez got off to a very strong start to the season and did a lot to take the pressure off the rotation when Eovaldi and Price went down with injuries. He allowed just five runs across 13 innings in April and finished with a strong 3.46 ERA for the month.
However, once the calendar shifted to May, Velazquez’s fortunes turned rapidly, culminating in an IL stint of his own at the end of the month.
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Hector tossed 18.1 innings in the season’s second full month and struggled mightily in almost all of them. He surrendered 16 earned runs on 17 hits and nine walks. He allowed at least one earned run in seven of his 10 May outings. He was finally placed on the IL after surrendering four runs in two innings against the Cleveland Indians on May 29.
It was not all negative for Velazquez. He tallied 17 strikeouts giving him a total of 32 in 34.2 innings on the season. Some of his poor performance in May could have been related to his injury. With any luck, he’ll return rested and fully healthy, and ready to contribute once again.
Velazquez is an important piece for Boston. He’s a quality option as either a spot starter or a long reliever, something few teams have. He can help keep the rest of the pitching staff fresh late in the season, which would be a huge advantage. If he can figure out his issues, the Sox as a team will be in much better shape.