The Red Sox bullpen will get a fresh arm after a marathon game in Minnesota, but will send another to the Injured List.
It was a short stay for Hector Velazquez. After a return from the injured list at the beginning of the week, the long-relief man was sent back with more back tightness after Tuesday night’s game in Minnesota. In his return to the active roster, Velazquez surrendered a costly homerun against Max Kepler, costing the Red Sox a shot at their seventh straight win.
Josh Smith has been added from Pawtucket.
No surprise here. #RedSox return RHP Hector Velazquez to the IL with a back strain. RHP Josh Smith recalled.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 19, 2019
After the Red Sox appeared to be on the mend, the injury bug has showed up yet again. At this point, it isn’t as much about the loss of Hector Velazquez as it is the necessity of bringing Josh Smith back to the active roster. Smith has demonstrated that he shouldn’t be on a Major League roster, with a 6.28 ERA in Boston and a 5.40 ERA for his career.
Time away from the active roster will likely cost Velazquez, more than anything else. Mike Shawaryn (10 IP, 0.90 ERA) is proving to be a solid arm that has the ability to become starting depth, as well as a one-inning reliever, fitting the role that Velazquez has held. If the rookie arm is able to solidify a long term role, it’s possible that Hector will be relegated to mop-up duty, and may become expendable with existing Minor League options.
As for Josh Smith, you’d hope that there isn’t a game (outside of a blowout) that the Red Sox need to deploy him in meaningful innings.