Red Sox, Alex Cora To Keep Using Garrett Whitlock As ‘Bullpen Weapon’

Whitlock has a 0.57 bullpen ERA in 2022


July 25

The Boston Red Sox got back to their winning ways Monday, defeating the Cleveland Guardians in a series opener at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox offense scrounged together enough runs for Nick Pivetta and John Schreiber to build a lead for Garrett Whitlock to come on and close things out — with the right-hander striking out a pair of batters over two inning of scoreless work, locking down his second save of the year.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora spoke about Whitlock’s importance to the team, no matter the role, following the game.

“He’s really good. Pitching the last two innings or the first five innings,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “The thing about the starting thing is, like, as a starter in six innings you’re going to give up two or three (runs). I think people get caught up on that but he was good (as a starter).

“He had some rough stretches. The Seattle game (May 21) and he made some adjustments, but he’s a weapon. This is the way we’re going to use him. This year.”

NESN 360 in-article asset

The results have been mixed for Whitlock in 2022, with the 26-year-old having significantly more success as a reliever (0.57 ERA in 13 2/3 innings pitched) than as a starter (4.15 ERA in 39 innings pitched).

When asked about his approach as a reliever, Whitlock shared that he’s chosen to keep the same mentality.

“Just trying to go one pitch, one batter at a time,” Whitlock told NESN’s Jahmai Webster, as seen on the network’s postgame coverage. “Just try and get early, quick outs. That’s how I try to go against every team, not just this one.”

Having Whitlock available two-to-three times a week rather than once is undoubtedly an advantage for the Red Sox given the trend of his performances throughout 2022. But, as Cora alluded to, Whitlock’s role is likely to be fluid beyond this season.

Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta
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