Naughty List #2: Tanner Houck
The case surrounding Tanner Houck is an interesting one. The 27-year-old hurler is a former first-round selection and has shown the potential to be a starting pitcher throughout his early career. That's why the Red Sox opted to make him a full-time starter for the first time in 2023.
After going 5-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 32 appearances (4 starts) in 2022, Houck took a step back last season. The former Missouri product lost more games (10) than he won (6) for the second time in three seasons, pitching to a 5.01 ERA while allowing 3.5 walks and 1.2 home runs per nine innings across 21 starts.
Now, the Red Sox are in an intriguing position. Houck is still under team control for the next four seasons, meaning there isn't a rush to move on given his affordability. At the same time, there have been rumblings that he could be moved if it means bringing in a proven starter to the mix, per The Athletic's Jen McCaffrey.
Hopefully, Houck can get back on track with a fresh season come the new year. Until then, I hope he doesn't mind getting soot and coal in his stocking.