Will Garrett Whitlock Be Back In Red Sox Bullpen When He Returns?

The Red Sox certainly could use some help out of the bullpen

by

June 29

Garrett Whitlock thrived out of the bullpen for the Boston Red Sox this season before being moved to the rotation, but could he be used as a reliever going forward?

It’s no secret the Red Sox ‘pen has lacked reliability without a solidified closer. Tanner Houck has fared well when given the opportunity, but as long as Canada keeps its COVID-19 vaccination mandates in place, he won’t be able to join the team in Toronto.

Whitlock hasn’t been able to find his groove as a starter. He hasn’t been bad by any means, but it was clear how important he was in relief when he became a starter earlier this season.

The right-hander has been on the injured list since mid-June with a hip issue but is set to return soon, and manager Alex Cora hinted Whitlock could be used out of the bullpen upon his return.

“We’re talking about it. Obviously health has to do with it,” Cora said during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Merloni, Fauria & Mego.” “… There’s different thoughts, of course. Going back to the bullpen is one of them.”

Cora noted earlier this season that he had “no plans” to move Whitlock back to the bullpen, but plans can change. and you need to make adjustments where necessary.

The bullpen is in need of some help, which was evident once again Tuesday night when the Toronto Blue Jays walked off the win over the Red Sox after Tyler Danish and Hansel Robles couldn’t hold on to the lead. While it doesn’t help that Houck is unavailable in Toronto due to his COVID-19 vaccination status, the Red Sox don’t have anyone else they can rely on to get those big outs.

Maybe Whitlock can be that person to help provide reinforcement, but we’ll find out soon enough.

The Red Sox look to avoid the sweep Wednesday night when they close out their series against the Blue Jays. First pitch from Rogers Centre is set for 7:07 p.m ET and you can catch all the action beginning at 6 p.m. on NESN.

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