Red Sox: Ranking potential impact of 2019 September call-ups
By Sean Penney
The most familiar face among the players called up in September is Hector Velazquez. The former Mexican League standout has had some success since joining the Red Sox in 2017, going 10-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 55 appearances (11 starts) over the last two seasons.
The 30-year old hasn’t been nearly as effective this year. Velazquez is 1-4 with a 5.69 ERA in 49 innings. He was relatively stingy with the free passes in previous years but his walk rate has inflated to a career-high 4.3 BB/9.
Velazquez has been counted on as a spot starter at times but his 1-3 record and 6.95 ERA as a starter this season inspires little confidence. Even a rotation as thin as Boston’s can’t afford to give him another shot when their margin for error is razor thin.
His time in the bullpen hasn’t exactly been a smashing success this year either, producing a 4.67 ERA in 27 innings. Velazquez posted a solid 3.31 ERA in 16 1/3 relief innings for Triple-A Pawtucket but he walked nearly as many batters (11) as he struck out (14).
Velazquez is likely going to be relegated to mop-up duty this month. He’s capable of providing multiple innings and can help keep the top arms in the bullpen fresh by handling some of the low-leverage situations.