Tanner Houck Views Return to Red Sox As Opportunity For Further Growth

'I just want to give everything I can to this team'

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Tanner Houck is back.

After a disappointing run with the Boston Red Sox early this season, Houck was sent down to Triple-A Worcester. He missed time with a flexor strain, but ultimately made six appearances with the WooSox, where he posted a 5.57 ERA across 21 innings. Prior to the All-Star break, Cora hinted that Houck’s return to the bigs could come sooner rather than later.

Now that he has arrived, Houck spoke to reporters Thursday (prior to the postponement of the game against the Yankees) and outlined his goals for his latest stint in the majors:

“In terms of what I want to get out of it, it’s just continuing to grow as a pitcher, and just face these elite lineups,” he told reporters over Zoom. “Obviously every time you get out there, you want to compete, and that’s what my goals are going into this. Whatever role I’m thrown into, go out there, compete and just give what I can to this team.”

Houck said he didn’t have a clear idea of how the Red Sox would use him moving forward, having just arrived in New York on Thursday morning, but he’s ready to slot in wherever he can best be utilized in the second half of the season.

“It’s an amazing team with a bunch of amazing people on it, so I don’t want to take anything away from that,” Houck said. “I just want to give everything I can to this team and compete in ballgames.”

When Cora shared the plan for the rotation against the Yankees last week, Houck didn’t factor into it. But things could change as both sides deal with the fallout of the Yankees’ COVID-19 situation.

As it stands, the team is planning to experiment with him both as a starter and out of the bullpen.

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