By MyFM's Jake Archer - When Hector Velazquez started warming up in the 'pen and eventually came in to pitch a scoreless ninth inning yesterday, it was clear that he would not be taking the ball to start on Sunday. Instead, Eduardo Rodriguez will make his season debut after rehabbing from knee surgery and missing only one turn through the rotation. Hopefully he can come in and not let us down. We've seen a lot of great pitching, so we'll probably be expecting a lot out of him.
The left-hander has shown flashes of talent over his career but injuries have kept him from realizing his full potential. Hopefully now his knee issues will be resolved and he can give the Sox some quality innings at the back end of the rotation all year long. He's said he feels very good and almost made his first turn to begin the season, but Boston wanted to make sure he didn't rush back. Now, with him taking the ball on Sunday for the series finale against Tampa, Chris Sale will face the Yankees on Tuesday on extra rest. New York will have to deal with all three of Boston's best pitchers in Sale, Price and Porcello.
It remains to be seen what the Sox will do with Velazquez now that he loses his spot in the rotation. Will he stay on the big club in the bullpen or go back to Pawtucket to remain a starter? Stay tuned.