After his first start with the Boston Red Sox, the critics were already hard on Hector Velazquez. With the pitcher back on the roster in September though, can he steal a spot for October?

If you don’t remember, Hector Velazquez didn’t look very good in his first Major League appearance. The 28-year-old gave up six runs over five innings of work. Even worse were some of the other stats though. He gave up nine hits (three home runs) and walked two. Meanwhile, he struck out four, and barely caused swings-and-misses.

Still though, some of the criticism seemed a little harsh. There were actually “he just isn’t a Major League pitcher” hot takes – AFTER ONE START!

Since then, Velazquez has been extremely effective for the Red Sox. The right-handed pitcher has appeared in four more games (one start). In that time, he’s thrown 13 2/3 innings, while giving up two runs

What makes those 13 2/3 innings most impressive is that their spread out.

The first five innings of Velazquez’s career were on May 18. Then he threw 8 2/3 innings from June 14 to June 19. His next four innings came on July 18, while his last inning came on September 5.

Due to the spread out nature of the innings, you can’t claim that Velazquez was just feeling it for a few days. He’s been given inconsistent innings in the Majors, and he’s impressed in almost all of them.

His numbers are really starting to reflect a good pitcher too. Velazquez has a 3.86 earned run average and 1.18 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP). Opponents are hitting .261 against him, and he’s walked only four compared to his 12 strikeouts. All of this reflects in his 3-1 record.

Velazquez has a few things going for him when it comes to October. First of all, he’s a flexible option. He can start, or give the Red Sox any number of innings out of the bullpen.

Then there’s the inconsistent bullpen. Other than Craig Kimbrel, very few relievers have been reliable all year long. A lot of jobs are up for grabs and there’s no reason to believe Hector Velazquez can’t steal one if he continues this upward trend.

Hunter Noll is a Staff Writer for Outside Pitch MLB. Follow him on Twitter

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