Chris Sale Endorses Red Sox Reliever Garrett Whitlock As ‘Lock’ For Rookie Of The Year

'He's like autocorrect'


September 1, 2021

The endorsements keep ringing in from his Boston Red Sox teammates.

It might be time for Garrett Whitlock to publicly announce his campaign for American League Rookie of the Year.

The Red Sox reliever on Wednesday earned his seventh win of the season, going two scoreless innings and giving up just two hits and no walks with a strikeout in a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Even Chris Sale — more competitive than just about anyone — has no issue handing the ball over to him. And the ace is happy to keep speaking Whitlock winning the award into existence.

“He’s been one of the best relievers of baseball,” Sale said after the Red Sox squeezed out the win. “I mean, you’re talking about a guy that, it’s pretty unbelievable, honestly, his story, his path to the big leagues. And obviously having Tommy John, not pitching and past Double-A, and now he’s got to be a lock for rookie of the year.”

Sale isn’t the first Red Sox pitcher to express this sentiment. Alex Verdugo, Adam Ottavino and All-Star closer Matt Barnes all have called Whitlock deserving of Rookie of the Year.

Beyond that, the numbers for the Rule 5 draft pick speak for themselves, with an 1.52 ERA through 63 innings with 72 strikeouts.

“The guy’s been been absolutely nails for us — being able to go out there and throw one inning, two innings, two-plus — and do what he’s done,” Sale continued. “It’s alleviated a lot of pressure off of a lot of other guys, and to be able to go out there and do what he’s done throughout the entire year, he’s like autocorrect, right? As soon as he has a bad one it’s, boom. Right on to the next one. And that’s impressive to see from anybody from from anywhere, age wise, years in the league and whatnot. But a young guy coming up doing what he had to do? That makes it all the more impressive.”

It’s true. Whitlock is just 25 years old and prior to joining the Red Sox, had never thrown beyond Double-A ball before the New York Yankees organization let him go.

That’s pretty funny to Sale, who isn’t convinced the Yankees have 40 guys better than Whitlock on their roster.

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