The Baltimore Orioles added Hector Velazquez to their roster today, claiming the right-hander off waivers from the Boston Red Sox, tweets Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. The Orioles PR department has confirmed the move. The Red Sox DFA’ed Velazquez on March 5.
Velazquez, 31, spent the last couple of seasons as a swingman in Boston. After a solid season as a starter in 2017 for for the Pawtucket Red Sox, he made his big league with 8 appearances spread out throughout the year. The total product got Velazquez more involved in the Red Sox’ 2018 title run as he threw 85 innings, appeared in 47 games, and finished with a 3.18 ERA/4.15 FIP. Outside of a couple of stints on the IL, Velazquez spent most of 2018 on the major league roster.
Last season was more of an up-and-down year for Velazquez both in terms of performance and his relationship to Triple-A. The sinkerballer made 34 total appearances for the Red Sox, starting 8 games for the second consecutive season, and finishing with a 5.43 ERA/4.74 FIP. Somewhat nontraditionally, Velazquez threw more changeups in 2019 than any other offering, though on the whole, he invokes a relatively egalitarian mix of sinkers, changeups, fastballs and sliders.
The Orioles will add him to their long relief mix, tweets MASN’s Roch Kubatko. It’s been an offseason-long goal for the Orioles to add pitching depth so as to avoid rushing naive arms to the majors.