There’s not enough room for Tanner Houck, Garrett Whitlock and Josh Winckowski to all be in the Boston Red Sox starting rotation.

In fact, given what manager Alex Cora already said about the starting staff, only one of those pitchers will be deemed a starter coming out of spring training.

Houck certainly isn’t backing down when it comes to the competition and the right-hander is doing the best he can to win the battle for the last spot in the starting rotation.

“Honestly make it a hard decision on them I think is what we can all do,” Houck told reporters Monday, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith. “I think it’s the best thing we can do because it means we’re all pitching pretty well. So if that’s the case, I like where this team is at, for sure.”

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Houck took a step in trying to claim a starter’s role Monday when he pitched two scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies at JetBlue Park. Whitlock started Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles while Winckowski is slated to pitch Wednesday.

Houck retired all six batters he faced and showed good command, tossing 15 of his 21 pitches for strikes, according to The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham.

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“I was happy with the sinker, cutter and split,” Houck told reporters, per Smith. “Slider was a little iffy at times … opening the front side with it. But all things considered, good outing. Keep building on that. I’m super happy with all the pitches, pitch shapes and everything at this point in the year.”

Helping Houck’s case to be in the starting rotation is an uptick in velocity. It wasn’t something the 27-year-old was necessarily trying to add this offseason, but he’ll look to use it to his advantage as the rotation battle continues throughout the spring.

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“Not by design at all,” Houck said. “I think it’s just a factor of being fully healthy and back to my normal self. With that being said, having a good offseason of building a lot of strength definitely also helps with that. Also very small mechanical changes that I made coming into camp feel a lot better, feel a lot more directionally sound and more explosive toward home plate.”

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images