Garrett Whitlock has pitched quite well for the Boston Red Sox this season, but will his role with the team become bigger?
The Rule 5 Draft pick has recorded 11 1/3 scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts and just one walk in five appearances heading into Sunday’s game against the Seattle Mariners. Whitlock retired 25 straight batters before giving up a single in Friday’s win.
Whitlock hasn’t pitched in high-leverage situations, and the Red Sox want to be cautious giving him a bigger role after he missed a year due to Tommy John surgery. But is that something he’ll do in the future?
“He?s pitched really well. He?s certainly performed well enough to have a better role,” Red Sox pitching coach Dave Bush told reporters Sunday over Zoom. “But there?s still a lot of factors here. He missed a whole year because of Tommy John. It?s his first time in the big leagues.
“We?re trying to be smart about how we use him and make sure we develop him appropriately.”
Whitlock certainly has impressed during his first Major League Baseball season, and it’s smart to continue to help him progress slowly, especially if he continues to pitch as well as he has.