The Boston Red Sox bullpen is going to have a new look this season, and one newcomer already has gotten Alex Cora’s attention.
Over the last few months, the Red Sox have added Adam Ottavino, Matt Andriese and Hirokazu Sawamura, among others. But one under the radar addition is Garrett Whitlock.
“Whitlock is a guy that I’ll be paying a lot of attention to,” Cora said Saturday over Zoom. “Wait until you come down here, whoever comes down, and you see him. He plays the part. He plays the part. He threw a bullpen (Friday) and was very impressive. The most impressive thing about him is the way he acts, the way he takes care of his body and what he does. He’s a very quiet kid, he knows what he wants to do and I’m looking forward to seeing him pitch and see where he takes us.”
In a way, Whitlock basically is a lock to make the Red Sox roster. Because he was acquired in the Rule 5 Draft, he has to stay on the active roster for at least 90 days or be offered back to the Yankees. If the Red Sox want to keep him, he’ll have to, at the very least, break camp with Boston.
The 24-year-old, who is 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, was a 2017 18th-rounder of the Yankees. He’s never pitched above Double-A, but at that level he has a 4-3 record with a 2.78 ERA, making 15 of his 16 appearances as a starter — though he projects as a reliever with the Red Sox.
Last season, the Red Sox had a Rule 5-selected player stay on the roster all season in Jonathan Arauz, who they picked from the Houston Astros.