The Red Sox manager also took a second to credit social media.
“Amazing game. (Whitlock) was amazing again,” Cora told reporters, per ASAP Sports, after the Red Sox punched their ticket to the AL Championship Series with a 6-5, walk-off win. “That tells you a lot about this organization, what we did in the offseason and what we tried to accomplish throughout the season.
“Instagram gets a shoutout. I’m glad that some of the scouts have Instagram and saw (Whitlock) throwing a bullpen. But it was amazing. It was a great day. I’m very proud of everybody.”
So, what’s with the skipper’s Instagram reference?
Well, the Red Sox selected Whitlock from the New York Yankees with the fourth pick in the Rule 5 Draft last December. The right-hander hadn’t yet pitched above Double-A and hadn’t appeared in a game since 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
But Whitlock documented his recovery progress on Instagram, and it caught the Red Sox’s attention even though they hadn’t seen him pitch in person in over a year. Boston ultimately decided to take a chance on Whitlock, who since has recorded the final three outs of the Red Sox’s AL Wild Card Game win over the Yankees and the final six outs of Monday’s ALDS clincher against Tampa Bay.
“Like you guys, we’ve been able to see what he’s been posting on Instagram,” Red Sox vice president of professional scouting Gus Quattlebaum said back in December, per The Athletic. “But, fortunately, we have the luxury of looking at medicals prior to the Rule 5 Draft, and all things are trending upwards.”
Trending upwards? In hindsight, that’s quite an understatement.
Although even the Red Sox probably didn’t anticipate Whitlock, 25, reaching the heights he has in his first season with the franchise.