Boston Red Sox

As the 2022 season kicks into gear, the Red Sox locked up one of their most important arms when they signed Garrett Whitlock to a four-year, $18.75 million contract over the weekend.

While his value has developed as a reliever during his time in the majors, Boston may identify Whitlock’s potential as a starter, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. The Red Sox beat reporter appeared on NESN to discuss Whitlock’s future role:

“When you look at the particulars of [Whitlock’s] contract, he would get paid more later on in the deal depending on how many innings he throws,” Abraham said during a TV conversation with Tom Caron. “This is obviously something where he’s looking to become a starter over time, and the Red Sox recognize that if he does, he’ll get paid more for doing that. … It might not happen this year, if it does happen this year, maybe it will be later in the season, but eventually, you’re going to see him transition into a starter.”

After bursting onto the scene last season with a 1.96 ERA over 73.1 innings, Whitlock picked up right where he left off to begin 2022. The right-hander dealt 2.1 innings of one-run ball against the Yankees on Opening Day before tossing four no-hit innings on just 39 pitches to secure the win in Detroit on Tuesday. Whether it is through a move to the rotation or remaining versatile as a reliever, Whitlock will continue to have a major impact on the Boston pitching staff for years to come.

Mazz: How the Red Sox played hardball with Giancarlo Stanton last night - and won

  • Stanton's stance, 2014

    Giancarlo Stanton, 2014This screen grab is just before the pitch from Milwaukee pitcher Mike Fiers that struck Giancarlo Stanton in the face in 2014. Note that his feet are basically square. He even more slightly toward the plate with his front foot as the pitcher began his deliver.

  • Stanton's stance, 2018

    Giancarlo Stanton, 2018By the time Stanton arrived in New York in 2018, he had closed his stance dramatically to try to combat his tendency for pulling off the ball, a bad habit that allowed pitchers (particularly right-handers) to routinely get him with pitches to the outer part of the plate.

  • Stanton's stance, 2022

    Stanton's Stance, 2022

    Based on this screen grab last night, Stanton has found a midpoint between where he was in 2014 and where he was in 2018. He is 5-for-13 with two home runs to start this season.

NEXT: Garrett Whitlock reacts to his extension with Red Sox