If you watched and listened to the Red Sox brass all winter long one of the reasons they didn't go out and spend on the rotation was they felt they had seven arms for those five spots. Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Brayan Bello, James Paxton , Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock. And Garret Whitlock. The (and) is becoming more prominent.
Whitlock is coming off hip surgery he had back in September. And the Sox have been adamant that he would be moving from the pen into the rotation this season. That plan may be put on hold as he has yet to be cleared to play in the field. Whitlock has been throwing bullpens along with all his rotational hopeful counterparts. Yesterday Cora addressed this issue with reporters in FT Myers including Ian Brown of MLB dot com.
"His next bullpen is up and down again. He's throwing the ball well, he's moving well. Not yet doing PFPs. We're not concerned. We've got a plan," said Cora. "We'll see where we're at in the upcoming weeks. If he's ready for Opening Day, he's ready. But if he's not, he's not going to lose too much time. If he's not there [for Opening Day], it's not because he's hurt or whatever. It's just the progression of where we're at, especially moving around."
Cora seems adamant that while Whitlock is slow to come around from how the team saw his rehab going it won't be anything that shelves him for a great deal of time. That’s reassuring. If Whitlock can go on opening day or soon thereafter it gives Cora a nice trump card as to how Tanner Houck can be used or if the sox can go to a six man rotation to start the season and not overwork Chris Sale and James Paxton who are of course also coming off a pair of injury plagued seasons.
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