The Boston Red Sox much-maligned starting rotation is likely going to continue to get a little bit of rest. The Red Sox are planning on starting Hector Velazquez on Patriots' Day to continue to avoid overworking their normal five-man rotation.
"We're going with six starters," manager Alex Cora told reporters before the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. "After the off-day on Thursday, we've played how many, 20-something in a row? So that's the last time we can actually give those guys a breather. It's by design. There's nothing going on. Hopefully, with Hector, we don't have to use him a lot over the next few days, and he'll be the guy on Monday."
Velazquez's start on Monday will push back Chris Sale another day. Sale, who is off to an 0-3 start with an ERA of 9.00, hasn't looked good so far and has admitted to feeling lost this year. Perhaps with another extra day of rest, he'll be better prepared for his start against the Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Velazquez has pitched in 8 2/3 innings so far in 2019 while logging a 3.12 ERA. Velazquez pitched three shutout innings as the starter in the 1-0 win over the Diamondbacks last Sunday. He is the only Red Sox starter this season to record a scoreless outing.
It seems likely that Velazquez will continue on as the Red Sox' spot starter. However, things could change if the Red Sox need bullpen help at any point in the next three games against the Orioles. If Velazquez has to pitch at any point in that stretch, plans may have to change.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.