His second start was much worse. He took the hill against his former team, the Chicago White Sox. He gave up 5 earned runs and was pulled with two outs in the third inning. The thing that plagued him the most was his command, he walked 4 and was only able to record 1 strikeout. At this point, it seemed evident that Velasquez should not be in the rotation.
But, there is always that game that keeps him around, right? Similar to Rich Hill, Velasquez put together his best start of the season when he needed it most. Against the St. Louis Cardinals, the righty threw 6 scoreless innings. He only allowed 3 hits, and 2 bases on balls, Even better to see he posted 6 punch outs.
Pittsburgh Pirates starter Vince Velasquez most impressive strikeout was against Nolan Arenado:
This is what scouts saw in Velasquez back when he was climbing the prospect rankings. It seems pretty obvious but when he has command of his pitches he has effective starts. Pitchers with the upper 90s fastball or crazy spin rates can get away with losing command from time to time. Velasquez does not have the stuff, if he wants to continue to show flashes of being an effective starting pitcher then he needs to continue to pounds the strike zone.