Tanner Houck is set to take a giant step by refusing to rest on his laurels.
The Boston Red Sox pitcher reacted with gratitude Sunday after learning he likely has earned a spot in the rotation to start the season. Alex Cora made the announcement to reporters earlier in the day, and Houck vowed to repay the faith the manager and the organization are showing in him.
“My plan coming into camp was to work and not really take anything to granted,” Houck said, per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. “For me to earn that spot and for them to have the trust in me, thank you to them. I hope to do them proud.”
Houck bounced around last season between the rotation and the bullpen in both Boston and Triple-A Worcester. He worked hard on his craft during the offseason, developing a fourth pitch that he hopes will help him produce his “best year” in 2022.
However this season pans out, Houck will stick to the approach that has taken him thus far.
“Having a routine is always nice,” he said. “But like I said last year, whether I was in Worcester, whether I was at Fenway, it didn’t matter. There was work to be done. I knew I was going to get another start, whether in Worcester or in Fenway. I never took that for granted.”
Although Houck likely will begin the season as Boston’s No. 3 starter, he won’t be satisfied with merely grabbing that spot. Instead, he probably will do whatever it takes to hold it and perhaps even move up in the rotation in the months or years to come.