The Red Sox announced a pair of roster moves Thursday, including the placement of right-hander Hector Velazquez on the 10-day injured list due to a lower back strain. Taking Velazquez’s place is fellow right-hander Mike Shawaryn, who will reach the Major Leagues for the first time after having his contract selected from Triple-A Pawtucket. No 40-man move was required, as Boston had an extra roster spot available.
Velazquez posted good bottom-line results as a swingman in 2018, with a 3.18 ERA over 85 innings (39 relief appearances, eight starts). ERA predictors took a much dimmer view of Velazquez’s performance, however, as a 4.15 FIP, 4.63 xFIP and 4.51 SIERA reflected a modest 5.61 K/9. While Velazquez struck out more batters this season, his walk rate rose and grounder rate diminished, resulting in a 5.97 ERA over 34 2/3 innings, with seven of his 18 appearances coming as a starting pitcher.
Shawaryn will provide the Sox with some extra rotation depth with Nathan Eovaldi still on the IL and Ryan Weber filling in as the fifth starter. Given the uncertainty in Boston’s bullpen, there’s certainly room for opportunity for Shawryn to stick in the big leagues if he performs well.
A fifth-round pick out of the University of Maryland in the 2016 draft, Shawaryn has started 67 of his 68 games as a professional, posting a 3.60 ERA, 9.3 K/9, and 3.05 K/BB rate over 355 1/3 innings. Shawaryn is credited with a 60-grade slider by MLB.com, which lists the 24-year-old as the 12th-best prospect in Boston’s farm system. As per the site’s scouting report, Shawaryn “has a high floor, appearing to be a good bet to at least become a multi-inning reliever who could live off his slider.”