Garrett Whitlock is the Boston Red Sox’s most interesting pitcher at camp; “The most impressive thing about him is the way he acts,” says Alex Cora.


Right-hander Garrett Whitlock is arguably the most interesting pitcher of the 2021 Boston Red Sox spring training camp for three reasons:

1). The Red Sox selected him in the rule 5 draft, knocking him out of rival New York Yankees.

2). As a rule 5 draft selection, he must either exit the club from spring training and remain on the active 26-man roster (barring a move to IL) or else be sent back to New York.

3). He must be a part of the squad although he has never passed double A and is returning from the Tommy John operation he underwent at the end of 2019.

“Whitlock is a guy that I will pay a lot of attention to,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Saturday. “He plays the part. He threw up a pen yesterday (Friday). It was very impressive. The most impressive thing about him is the way he acts. The way he takes care of his body and what he does. He is a very calm child. He knows what he wants to do. I can’t wait to see him pitch and see where he takes us.

Whitlock will likely play a role similar to that of Matt Andriese as a swingman in the Red Sox enclosure (long relief appearances and occasional starts). But it could also be used in high leverage situations where the Red Sox need a ball on the ground. He had a ground-to-flight ratio of 2.20 in 2019. The Red Sox believe he’s the type of pitcher who can take advantage of field changes.

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound player posted a 3.07 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 0.265 batting average in 14 starts at Double-A Trenton in 2019. He struck out 57 batters on taken and walked 18 in 70 innings before having Tommy John surgery. . He didn’t pitch in 2020 while he was recovering.

The 2017 18th round pick dropped from 12 to 8 with a 2.41 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 0.236 batting average in 42 outings (38 starts) during his minor league career . He’s averaged 8.8 strikeouts and 2.6 walks per nine innings.

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