Velazquez will be left off the Red Sox's 25-man roster for the ALDS, Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic reports. In 47 appearances (eight starts) for Boston this year, Velazquez posted a 3.18 ERA and 1.45 WHIP with a 5.6 K/9 across 85 innings. His below-average strikeout stuff combined with off days that will keep the rest of the staff fresh likely led to this decision by manager Alex Cora.
Velazquez isn't scheduled to start any of the Red Sox's three games with the Yankees this weekend, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports. Velazquez was called upon for a spot start last Sunday against the Indians, with the right-hander covering 3.1 innings and giving up two runs in the outing. It appears his entry into the rotation was only a temporary one designed to give the team's regular starters some rest, so Velazquez shifted back to the bullpen earlier this week. He retired two hitters in relief Wednesday against the Orioles and could make another appearance or two during Boston's final series of the regular season.
Velazquez allowed two earned runs on four hits and no walks while striking out three across 3.1 innings Sunday against the Indians. He did not factor into the decision. Velazquez pitched effectively for the majority of his start but was pulled after allowing two of the first three batters he faced in the fourth inning to reach base. This was only a spot start for Velazquez, and he hadn't thrown more than 50 pitches in an appearance since Sept. 5. That explains his short outing and makes it difficult to expect much of an impact from him prior to season's end.
Velazquez will start Sunday's series finale against the Indians, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports. With Velazquez pitching for one of the game's best offenses, fantasy owners might view this as an opportunity to grab a win; however, a couple of factors argue against that strategy. First, Velazquez is averaging just under four innings over his seven starts this season, so he may not be stretched out enough to qualify for a win. Secondly, as we saw in Friday's game against Cleveland, the Red Sox have nothing left to play for and could rest several regulars.
Velazquez (illness) pitched a scoreless inning in Sunday's win over the Mets, allowing one hit. Velazquez was expected to make a spot start Friday but was scratched due to illness. He's now healthy, though there doesn't appear to be an opportunity for him to get another start any time soon.