The Red Sox added a little bit of depth to their pitching staff late last week when they brought in Collin McHugh, although he won’t be able to contribute to start the year due to injury. Still, he is an upgrade over what they had in place, and for that reason alone it was a good addition. However, as there always is, there was a roster casualty in the form of Hector Velázquez in order to make room for McHugh. Velázquez was designate for assignment as a corresponding move, and he did not make it through waivers. It was announced on Sunday that the Orioles claimed the righty off waivers.
The #Orioles have claimed RHP Hector Velázquez off waivers from the Boston Red Sox.— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) March 8, 2020
Velázquez had been in the Red Sox organization since 2017 and will forever be remembered for his role as an unsung hero on the 2018 team. While he was far from a key cog, Velázquez shifted seamlessly between the rotation and bullpen for 85 innings with a 139 ERA+. Unfortunately, the wheels really fell off last season as his lack of standout stuff caught up with him and the righty was hit hard in 2019. He ended up pitching to a 5.43 ERA (89 ERA+) over 56 1⁄3 innings.
This isn’t a major loss for the Red Sox, although I was a little surprised they let him go on waivers. I figured he might get a chance to start the year in a swingman role this year, but that is obviously out the window. To be fair, though, there does not appear to be much functional difference between Velázquez and the other options who were chosen over him. The Red Sox will now look to guys like Brian Johnson, Phillips Valdez, Chris Mazza, Matt Hall, Jefferey Springs and Mike Shawaryn as swingman/spot starters, at least to start the year.