Red Sox pitcher Garrett Whitlock doesn’t exactly know what his role will be in 2024, but even though there’s a level of uncertainty, one thing is keeping him in a “great” spot.

He’s healthy.

Whitlock spent each of the last two seasons dealing with injuries, nursing hip and elbow ailments throughout 2022 and 2023. It was anything but surprising whenever his name would pop up on the injured list, but he’s at full strength entering spring training — and that has the Red Sox feeling optimistic.

“Garrett’s in a great spot,” Red Sox pitching coach Andrew Bailey said Wednesday, as transcribed by Ian Browne of “He’s put a lot of work in this offseason. He threw live BP last week, too. He’s a full go and ready to compete for that rotation spot. Today was very promising. His (pitch) shapes are locked, and his arsenal is in a good spot. He’s trending in the right direction, and I think priority is his health, so he’s in a really good spot now.”

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It’s nice that Whitlock is healthy and all, but what was that about a rotation spot?

The Red Sox have shuffled Whitlock between the rotation and the bullpen each of the last two seasons, which not-so-coincidentally coincided with the injuries. Boston’s steadfast in its approach with the 27-year-old, however, believing he has an opportunity to find success in the role.

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Brayan Bello, Lucas Giolito and Nick Pivetta seem to be locked into the rotation, but Whitlock joins the group of Tanner Houck, Kutter Crawford and Josh Winckowski in trying to earn one of the two remaining spots.

It hasn’t been a winning proposition for Whitlock to this point in his career, but a healthy offseason could be what the doctor ordered for potential success as a starter. If it isn’t, he can always fall back into his role as one of the most reliable high-leverage bullpen pieces in MLB.

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Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images