Garrett Whitlock won’t be on the Red Sox’s roster on Opening Day.
Well, at least not the Boston Red Sox.
Whitlock, who is expected to start the season on the injured list as he recovers from right hip surgery, could make his first rehab start as soon as possible.
“There’s a good chance he pitches Opening Day for Worcester,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Friday, per Christopher Smith of MassLive. “Obviously, weather permitted. But I think that’s the plan.”
It isn’t expected to be a long absence from Boston for Whitlock, who is expected to miss just one or two turns through the rotation before being activated from the injured list. His eventual return to the roster should help things fall into place for the Red Sox, who will begin the season with Kutter Crawford and Tanner Houck in the rotation as Brayan Bello, James Paxton and Whitlock make their way back from injury.
The 26-year-old will fly to Boston with the Red Sox next week, putting him in line to join Boston for Opening Day festivities on March 30 against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. That would allow him to make the trek to Triple-A Worcester for its opener at Polar Park the next day.