There obviously was a reason Alex Cora was so impressed with Garrett Whitlock in February and he was someone the manager wanted to pay close attention to.
Whitlock’s latest showing — 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball with four strikeouts — helped the Red Sox to an 8-4 win in 11 innings over the Texas Rangers on Monday. His performance drew rave reviews after the game, particularly from Alex Verdugo who said the right-hander “definitely could be Rookie of the Year.”
It certainly is wild to think that someone who never pitched above the Double-A level until this season could win one of Major League Baseball’s awards. But Whitlock is making quite the case.
Through 60 1/3 innings pitched this season, Whitlock is 5-2 with an eye-catching 1.64 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. He’s given up 52 hits, 11 earned runs, issued 15 walks while striking out 67. He’s bailed the Red Sox out throughout the year, and has pitched in high-leverage situations with the game on the line.
Whitlock clearly is earning more trust from Cora and his Red Sox teammates, and is a sneaky candidate to earn the Rookie of the Year. And what an incredible storyline that would be for the 25-year-old.
There’s still 36 games on the docket for the Red Sox, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Whitlock used a bit more, especially if Matt Barnes continues to struggle.
Regardless of what happens the rest of the season, Whitlock can hang his hat on the success he’s amassed and be proud of how far he’s come to get to this point.