Red Sox Place Hector Velazquez on Injured List, Recall Josh Smith from Triple-A Pawtucket

Just two days after activating him, the Red Sox have once again placed right-hander Hector Velazquez on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain. To take Velazquez’s spot on the 25-man roster, right-hander Josh Smith was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. The club made the transaction official earlier Wednesday.

Velazquez, 30, was used in relief in Boston’s 4-3 17-inning loss to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, where over four innings, he allowed one run on a Max Kepler solo home run in the 13th to earn his first blown save of the year.

Multiple visits from the Red Sox training staff, as well as Velazquez reaching for and stretching his lower back, made it apparent that the Mexico native wasn’t fully healthy, and he was removed prior to the start of the bottom half of the 17th.

On the 2019 season as a whole, Velazquez owns an ERA of 5.59 and batting average against of .255 over 19 appearances (seven starts) and 38 2/3 innings pitched. I’m sure he will be re-eavulated in the next week or so.

Smith, meanwhile, rejoins the big league club two days after being optioned down to the PawSox on Monday.

Now in his fifth stint with Boston, the 31-year-old righty has posted a 6.28 ERA and .323 batting average over eight outings, which include a pair of starts. He also notched his first career save on June 13th in a 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers.

For the time being, the Red Sox are sticking with 13 pitchers and 12 position players on their 25-man roster.

Here’s how the Sox will be lining up in their series finale against the Twins on Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.



Red Sox Recall Top Pitching Prospect Darwinzon Hernandez from Double-A Portland, Place Ryan Brasier on Bereavement List

Prior to their second of four games against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, the Red Sox placed right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier on the bereavement/family medical emergency list and recalled left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez from Double-A Portland in a corresponding move. The club made the transaction official earlier Tuesday.

Now up with Boston for the third time this season, Hernandez will make his first career big league start Tuesday after only being used out of the bullpen in Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers back in April, where he tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Ranked as the organization’s top pitching prospect, the 22-year-old has not had an easy time of things with the Sea Dogs this year, as he has posted a 5.13 ERA in 10 outings (nine starts) and 40 1/3 total innings pitched to go along with 59 strikeouts and 32 walks. That’s good for a K/9 of 13.2 and a BB/9 of 7.2. He is also holding opposing hitters to a .217 batting average against.

As the above tweet indicates, control has been Hernandez’s biggest issue. How he fares against major league hitters multiple times through the order should be interesting to see.

Here’s how the rest of the Red Sox line up on Tuesday against Texas. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT.