Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Garrett Whitlock of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on May 16, 2022. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

It’s about time the Boston Red Sox have Garrett Whitlock at 100 percent.

Whitlock missed the start of the 2023 season as he recovered from arthroscopic hip surgery, only to last three starts before landing on the Injured List with ulnar neuritis in his throwing elbow. The injury sounded worse than it really was, though, as Whitlock dodged a bullet and needed less than a month to return from it. Now, the Red Sox know when they’ll be getting Whitlock back on the mound in a real game.

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  • “He’ll be ready,” Cora said on Whitlock, whose return is set for Saturday on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks (via NESN). Per Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic, Cora also said the Red Sox will use a six-man rotation as part of Whitlock’s return, rather than bump anyone out right away.

    Corey Kluber is set to start on Sunday after Whitlock in Arizona. Cora says the Red Sox will then “reassess” the situation. That’s a kind way of saying Kluber’s spot in the rotation could be in jeopardy. Kluber is 2-6 with a 6.26 ERA through nine appearances, with just one quality start all season.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 01: Starting pitcher Garrett Whitlock #72 of the Boston Red Sox throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Fenway Park on June 01, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

  • Whitlock had a strong final rehab start for Triple-A Worcester on Sunday, allowing no runs on four hits and one walk while striking out four in 4.2 innings. He needed only 79 pitches to get through the outing.

    The hope is that Whitlock shows that level of performance against major league hitters. The Red Sox desperately need a boost in the starting rotation as much as anything on the team. They enter Monday at 27th in baseball in team starter ERA (5.54).

    Even Whitlock is partially to blame for that, as he was 1-2 with a 6.19 ERA in three starts prior to the elbow injury.

  • But Whitlock has certainly shown enough upside to feel confident he can work off his rust, correct any issues he has returning to the mound, and settle in as an effective pitcher in Boston. And that is badly needed right now.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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