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Grading the White Sox: Vince Velasquez

Whether starting or relieving, still below average

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners
Vince Velasquez went from below-average to slightly below-average in the second half of the season
Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports

At midseason, the SSS staff graded the 46-46 White Sox, from the head of the class Dylan Cease down to Dallas Keuchel. We invented a WARsss metric that could very well be just a cute way to trot out our special site grades — but really for all you know could be the product of years of research in a stats lab.

Our expanded report card will take us through everyone who saw time in uniform for the White Sox, plus some front-office types. Most of our writers will take on a couple of players, with final grades and short writeups, running through the end of November. Enjoy!

Vince Velasquez
Right-Handed Pitcher
Midseason: -0.6 sssWAR
Final: -0.4 sssWAR

Vince Velasquez, much like the White Sox as a whole this season, was eh. He signed with the South Side on March 14 on a one-year, $3 million deal. The righthander was singed with an upside at the end of the rotation, downside as a swingman who could spot-start when needed and work out of the bullpen.

However, when Lance Lynn got hurt, Velasquez was ensured a spot in the starting rotation, and seven of his nine starts came before the All-Star break. Following Johnny Cueto joining the rotation and the return of Lynn, Velasquez moved to a relief role after returning from a groin injury in mid-June. As a starter, he was 2-3 with a 5.26 ERA. In the 18 games he appeared in relief for, Velasquez was 1-0 with a 4.25 ERA. While his ERA left something to be desired, Velasquez did hold batters to just a .212 average and owned a respectable 1.06 WHIP when he pitched out of the bullpen.

I will note that Velasquez did miss about five weeks due to a right index finger blister. While he was out, I did not miss him. He felt like a guy who was there to eat innings when needed. The signing — or certainly, the MLB roster guarantee — didn’t make sense, and his role with the team never seemed clear. I especially questioned the signing considering Velasquez owned a 6.30 ERA last season and has never had a season with an ERA below 4.00.

In a world full of below-average signings, this one falls somewhere in the middle of the list. Here’s to hoping Vinnie Velo is nowhere to be seen on the South Side in 2023.

2022 White Sox Grades

Vince Velasquez, RHP, -0.4
Reese McGuire, C, -1.1
Kyle Crick, RHRP, -1.65
Joe Kelly, RHRP, -1.75
Daryl Boston, 1B Coach, -2.0
Anderson Severino, LHRP, -2.2
Jerry Reinsdorf, OWN, -2.321
Jake Diekman, LHRP, -2.366
Rick Hahn, GM, -2.401
Bennett Sousa, LHRP, -2.425}
Frank Menechino, BAT COACH, -2.469
Yasmani Grandal, C/DH, -2.549
Leury García, UTIL, -2.7
Adam Haseley, OF, -3.146
Joe McEwing, 3B Coach, -3.167
Ryan Burr, RHRP, -3.4
Tony La Russa, MGR, -3.5
Dallas Keuchel, LHSP, -3.9