Boston Red Sox: Garrett Whitlock deserves to be in 2022 starting rotation

Garrett Whitlock #72 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Garrett Whitlock #72 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Garrett Whitlock has been the Boston Red Sox most reliable pitcher out of the bullpen and deserves a chance to be in the starting rotation in 2022.

Even though the Red Sox bullpen has been unreliable for majority of the season, one player that manager Alex Cora and the coaching staff can always rely on to stop the bleeding is Garrett Whitlock. Whitlock was drafted by the Red Sox in this past offseason’s Rule 5 draft and was formerly a top pitching prospect for the Red Sox’s rival, the New York Yankees.

Still only 25 years old, Whitlock made his MLB debut with the Red Sox this season and has been one of the best rookie pitchers throughout the league. Over 40 games pitched out of the bullpen, he’s amassed a 7-2 record with an ERA of only 1.63 and has struck out 74 batters. It seems like anytime the Red Sox starting pitchers get into trouble, Alex Cora usually turns to Whitlock to clean up their mess.

Why Garrett Whitlock should a starter next season for the Boston Red Sox

Since Whitlock has been so effective throughout the season, many reporters and fans want to see him get a chance in the starting rotation during the 2022 season. So much so that Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was asked about the possibility of Whitlock being in the rotation next season on WEEI and answered with;

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"“We haven’t actually stepped back and had that discussion yet, so I don’t want to jump to any conclusions because I don’t think it’s right to do that midstream. I would say he has developed over the course of the year, we’ve seen it, a repertoire that makes you think he could be a really good starter. Generally speaking, when somebody has that, they have a complete repertoire, they have that strike-throwing ability, the ability to repeat their delivery, if you can get 150-200-plus innings out of them that’s usually the biggest way for them to impact your team. Usually, you want to go down that path if you think you can.”"

When looking at Whitlock’s workload throughout this season, it shows that he’s only thrown three or more innings twice during the 2021 season. The first time was on April 4th against the Baltimore Orioles, which just so happened to be his MLB debut, when he threw 3.1 innings while only allowing three hits and striking out five.

The second time was on May 13th against the Oakland Athletics when he went three innings, allowed three hits, one earned run, and picked up two strike outs. Other than those two outings, he’s mainly pitched one or two innings maximum.

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Even though Whitlock has had limited experience going more than three innings in the majors, he seems very comfortable getting out of tough situations and pitching multiple innings. With how impressive and efficient he’s been throughout the season out of the bullpen, it’s going to be tough for Alex Cora and company to not give him a chance in the rotation during next season.