It looks like Boston Red Sox fans are getting what most have wanted all along.
The club’s manager Alex Cora appears to have made his decision on the future of Garrett Whitlock once he returns from the injured list.
“Alex Cora said the decision is all but made that Whitlock will be a reliever when he is activated and the club plans on keeping him in that role for the rest of the season,” MLB.com’s Ian Browne tweeted Saturday.
Cora previously said the decision would be primarily based on how to best preserve Whitlock’s health, meaning he had to decide if more innings or more frequent outings would lead to higher injury risk.
With all of the starters expected back at some point in the season and the possibility of adding more before the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline, it makes sense to move Whitock to the bullpen.
Chris Sale is set to rehab with Triple-A Worcester in what could be his final step before returning to the big-league roster. James Paxton and Nathan Eovaldi will also return at some point, leaving an overflow of starters, and that isn’t even factoring in the impressive play from spot starters such as Josh Winckowksi.
More importantly, Whitlock’s numbers across the board were substantially better as a multi-inning reliever. If he can return to form, a dominant right-hander could be exactly what Cora needs to manage the late innings. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom would agree, as he reportedly is looking for the same type of player in trade discussions.