3. Garrett Whitlock
Like Houck, Whitlock was another pitcher who lost his way in 2023 as Boston mismanaged him.
Whitlock was one of Bloom's best pickups when he swiped him from the New York Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft in 2020. He immediately became one of Boston's best pitchers, going 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA out of the 'pen in 2021 and helping the Red Sox advance all the way to the ALCS.
Bloom couldn't leave well enough alone, however, and tried to slowly convert Whitlock into a starting pitcher during the last two years. Not surprisingly, his performance declined and his body broke down with injuries as he wasn't able to carry a starter's workload.
An elite reliever is better than a mediocre starter, so Whitlock should improve this season if Breslow puts him back in the bullpen where he belongs. Whitlock's ERA is over two runs higher as a starter than as a reliever, so the numbers are pretty clear on this one.
If Breslow lets Whitlock do what he does best rather than trying to turn him into something he's not, he'll be fine.
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