3 Red Sox on Thin Ice Heading Into Opening Day

The Boston Red Sox are facing a ton of pressure as the 2024 MLB season is set to begin this week. Here are three players who are on thin ice ahead of Opening Day.

SS Trevor Story is one Red Sox player who's on thin ice ahead of Opening Day 2024.
SS Trevor Story is one Red Sox player who's on thin ice ahead of Opening Day 2024. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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2. RHP Tanner Houck

Red Sox fans are wondering if this season is the one where Tanner Houck finally shows the world what he's capable of.

A former 2017 first-rounder, Houck's MLB career has been a rollercoaster thus far. The former Missouri hurler was solid as a starter in 2021 before moving into the bullpen for the 2022 campaign, resulting in his going 5-4 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.183 WHIP while striking out 56 batters over 60 innings across 32 appearances (4 starters).

After that solid showing, the Red Sox decided it was time to run with Houck as a starting arm again in 2023. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned as the 27-year-old pitched his way to a 6-10 record, 5.10 ERA, and 1.368 WHIP across 21 starts. It didn't help that the .415 slugging percentage he allowed was significantly worse than last year's mark (.295).

Houck will be in the starting rotation to begin the 2024 campaign, but time will tell how long that lasts. Continued struggles could see him return to the bullpen or the Red Sox may even opt to trade him if it means adding another legitimate/proven arm to the rotation.

Houck tends to have stretches where he looks like "that guy" on the mound, so hopefully he figures out how to do that for a full schedule this season.