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White Sox take rotation flyer on former Phillies, Padres starter

The Chicago White Sox have taken a rotation flyer on longtime Phillies starter Vince Velasquez, believing in his high upside.

The ChiSox wouldn’t be the first team to fall for Velasquez’s strikeout potential, but they hope to be the last — that is, Chicago believes they can be the team to finally fix the control issues that have long plagued the former highly-rated prospect.

The Phillies finally cut ties with Velasquez last season, designating him for assignment after he put up a 3-6 record, paired with a 5.95 ERA and 1.482 WHIP in 17 games started. Velasquez was picked up by the San Diego Padres, but didn’t pitch much better — 8.53 ERA and 1.5 WHIP in 12.2 innings. Yikes.

The White Sox called next.

Chicago White Sox sign Vince Velasquez

Sox general manager Rick Hahn has admitted pitching is a serious need as the team enters the second half of a busy free agency.

“Pitching concerns might be a little heavier on our mind than the position-player side of things,” Hahn said Friday, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

Velasquez alone doesn’t solve that need, but it does add another name to the hat. The White Sox rotation is frontloaded, with the likes of Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Dallas Keuchel and Michael Kopech dominating opposing hitters on a regular basis. Chicago lost Carlos Rodon to the San Francisco Giants just a few days ago. The bullpen, thankfully, should be just fine.

The fifth starter position is pretty open at the moment, but Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez and even Velasquez could factor into that equation by the end of spring training.

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