The Boston Red Sox lost Garrett Whitlock in a string of pitchers injuries in recent weeks and all season by going on the 15-day injured list on Tuesday. We also know about the injuries to Tanner Houck, Chris Sale and Corey Kluber, which the Red Sox had been trying to fill the void and add depth to the pitching rotation and the bullpen. The only true starters in the rotation are James Paxton and Brayan Bello
Ever since Houck got injured, in his spot often is filled by either a reliever or by calling up a starter from Worcester. This includes the loss on Tuesday, where they started Brennan Bernadino where he pitched 1 1/3 innings. They used Justin Garza, Kaleb Ort, Matt Dermody and Bernadino in this position. To fill in roles in the bullpen they’ve called up Brandon Walter, Chris Murphy and Tayler Scott.
Now they have to void left by Whitlock, whereas there are no named starters for the Sox in the coming series against the Oakland Athletics in the Friday and Sunday games while Paxton is the probable starter for Saturday. Meanwhile, the Athletics have named their starters for the weekend.
I have a couple of suggestions on how the Sox can fill the void because they shouldn’t use the bullpen as starters forever.
Nick Pivetta should come back to the rotation for the Red Sox
The Red Sox put Nick Pivetta in the bullpen after Brayan Bello, Paxton and Sale all recovered for their injuries back in May. Before then, he has been used exclusively for the starting rotation since being acquired in 2020 from the Phillies, where in 2019 he made 17 relief appearances.
There are reports that Pivetta is being stretched to be the starter for Sunday, which would make his first start since May 16th against the Seattle Mariners, where he was 3-3 in that stretch.
I think this would be a wiser choice for the Sox, since Pivetta was previously an effective starter and can deliver multiple innings unlike some of the bullpen arms that have been used in recent weeks.
Red Sox can call up Tyler Barraclough or Dinelson Lamet
Back in late June the Sox had to make desperate measures to develop arms in the minor leagues so that they could help the bullpen whenever they need too. This is what happened with Tayler Scott who made his Sox debut on Tuesday.
Dinelson Lamet signed to the Sox with a minor league contract after he was released by the Colorado Rockies after being designated for assignment. He was optioned down to Triple-A Worcester soon after and was put on the development list, where as of Wednesday he would be eligible to be activated from the list and get reps down in Worcester. If he gets enough reps, and if the pitching situation in Boston gets worse then Lamet would be able to serve in the bullpen and can start.
Barraclough is 3-0 since being signed on a minor league contract on June 19th. He will not be able to serve this week however because he started on Tuesday against the Syracuse Mets where he had a strong start of 10 strikeouts, but if some of the pitchers are not recovered after the All-Star break, he can be called up and start if need to.