Pittsburgh Pirates: Vince Velasquez Showing Flashes

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals
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When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed veteran pitcher Vince Velasquez many including myself were critical of the signing. The part that concerned fans were whether or not Velasquez was going to be used in the starting rotation or not. The former top-100 prospect has struggled to find consistency as a starting pitcher in his 9-year career.

Last season the Chicago White Sox moved Velasquez into their bullpen. He found a lot more success coming in as a reliever rather than starting. As a starter, his ERA was over 5 while it was in the low 4s as a reliever.

So heading into Spring Training it was announced that Velasquez would have a shot at making the rotation. It seemed like he would either go to the bullpen or the Bucs would utilize a 6-man rotation by the end of Spring. However, when JT Brubaker went to the inijury list it opened up a clear spot and opportunity for Velasquez.

Through his first two starts, the 30-year-old righty showed why the White Sox moved him into the bullpen. His first start against the Reds was just okay, he gave up 3 earned runs but was not able to get through the 5th inning. He struck out 3, and walked 1, but gave up 2 home runs. So not a bad first start, but he would not follow it up well.