Red Sox

Garrett Whitlock will ‘likely’ move back to bullpen when he returns from injury

Whitlock was moved into the starting rotation in late April.

The next time you'll see Whitlock, he'll be pitching as a reliever. AP Photo/Ashley Landis

The Red Sox are putting an end to the Garrett Whitlock, starting pitcher experience, at least for now.

Whitlock will “likely” pitch out of the bullpen when he returns from his hip inflammation injury, Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters on Saturday.

“We were talking about taking care of him and all that but it will be what we did last year, multiple-inning guy,” Cora said. “And that’s going to, rehab-wise, I don’t want to say it’s easier but it’s a different one. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow and we’ll make a decision after that.”

The Red Sox are still looking to use Whitlock as a starter again next season though, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford.


As a minor leaguer in the Yankees’ system, Whitlock pitched exclusively as a starter. However, when the Red Sox acquired him prior to the 2021 season, they used Whitlock only out of the bullpen until late April of this season.

So far, Whitlock’s results as a reliever look far stronger than as a starter at the major league level. As a reliever, Whitlock is 9-4 with a 1.84 ERA over 50 career appearances out of the bullpen. As a starter, Whitlock is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA over nine starts.

Whitlock hasn’t pitched since June 8, when he suffered the hip injury in a start against the Angels. Boston’s starting rotation has mostly held strong through Whitlock and Nathan Eovaldi’s injuries, helping the Red Sox to a 19-6 record in June.

Josh Winckowski, one of the pitchers who has replaced Whitlock and Eovaldi in the rotation, has gone 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA over four starts this season. Winckowski and Connor Seabold will remain in the starting rotation for the time being. Chris Sale’s return appears imminent as he’ll make a rehab start with Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday and Nathan Eovaldi threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Saturday. Rich Hill was placed on the 15-day injured list though on Saturday after he left his start on Friday early due to a left knee sprain.


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