Boston Red Sox

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 6: Corey Kluber #28 of the Boston Red Sox throws a pitch in the bottom of the first inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 6, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

As the Red Sox pitching staff continues to get healthy, the team has had to adjust the roster accordingly. That’s mainly been in their starting rotation, as the team looks to balance a five-man rotation with new arms returning to action.

On Wednesday, manager Alex Cora announced another major shakeup. Veteran Corey Kluber will be moving to the bullpen, with Tanner Houck officially locking up the final rotation spot.

  • Houck, 26, pitched mainly from the bullpen last year as a long reliever, but was moved to the starting rotation coming out of spring training due to the number of injuries to starting pitchers. There was some belief he could be moved back into his 2022 role, but likely solidified his place in the rotation with his start on Tuesday night when he went six innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out eight Angels hitters.

    Kluber, on the other hand, was tabbed as the Opening Day starter for the Red Sox after signing a one-year, $10 million deal with a 2024 team option this offseason. The 37-year-old has struggled through his first nine starts, going 2-6 with a 6.26 ERA. In his last start on Sunday in San Diego against the Padres, he was pulled after just 2.1 innings having allowed five runs on three hits and three walks. Prior to that game, he’d allowed 11 home runs in 39.1 innings over eight starts.

    With this move, Kluber joins Nick Pivetta as early season starters who were moved to the bullpen after struggling to start the season. In his first eight starts this year, Pivetta had a 6.30 ERA through 40 innings.

  • These moves leave the starting five for the Red Sox as – in order starting Wednesday night – James PaxtonChris SaleGarrett Whitlock, Houck, and rookie Brayan Bello. The Red Sox will still need to formally activate Whitlock, who was placed on the IL last month with ulnar neuritis in his throwing elbow, but he has made his final rehab start and Cora had previously announced to the media the team plans on having him start on Saturday.

    Once that move is made official the Red Sox will need a corresponding move to open up a roster spot. It would make sense to see them option or DFA a current member of their bullpen to make room for Kluber.

    The Sox are back in action Wednesday night, taking on the Los Angeles Angels as they try to salvage one win in this three game series. First pitch is set for 9:38 p.m., with Paxton facing off against Tyler Anderson for LA.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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