Garrett Whitlock returns to the Red Sox rotation for a start against Diamondbacks

Garrett Whitlock returns to the Red Sox rotation for a start against Diamondbacks

Whitlock was placed on the injured list with a forearm problem at the end April. Whitlock, now healthy, hopes that a deeper changeup will serve as a better compliment to his fastball.

Posted by on May 28, 2023 829

PHOENIX - About five weeks after being placed on the injured list for the Red Sox, Whitlock will be returning to the Red Sox' rotation against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. The pitcher admits that he was frustrated to be placed on the injured list due to ulnar neuropathy in his right forearm.

"I believe we got ahead of it before it got worse."Whitlock said that he was not happy about having to take a break, but it was probably better in the end."Now that I'm back, I'm trying to stay with the squad for the remainder of the year."

Whitlock struggled in his three starts, going 1-2 and with a 6.19 ERA. He struggled to find the right pitch mix to allow him to flourish, specifically his changeup.

This trait has decreased, from 35 inches in the 2021-'22 season to only 30 inches this year. Whitlock's pitching was a bit off, which resulted in Whitlock throwing more pitches in the middle of the zone, and fewer swings. Whitlock, before landing on the injury list, had allowed a changeup with a.400 batting average and.850 Slugging Percentage. He also allowed five extra-base hits, one more than in 2022.

Whitlock said, "It was too difficult and it didn't get the depth it usually gets. It didn't get as low as I desired."I started it where I wanted it, but it would not go down to the depth I wanted. So those balls were hit harder."I'm just making certain I have the right depth and speed differential to make my fastball pop more."

Whitlock's pain has not returned since he began throwing again, which allows him to focus on regaining the feel of the pitch. In two rehab starts with Triple-A Worcester, Whitlock emphasized his changeup. The results were promising. Statcast data shows that he moved 36 and 38 inches vertically on the pitch, respectively, in his two WooSox appearances.

Adam Duvall will begin a rehab assignment with the WooSox on Tuesday. He has been out since April 10, with a distal-radius fracture in his left hand. He will play in the outfield for one game, then be the designated hitter.

Cora said that even though Duvall stood in as first base to take throws at Fenway Park, a position that he played in his early big league career, Cora had never considered having him play this year.

Rafael Devers, the Red Sox third baseman, was forced to leave the lineup for the first game of the series due to tightness in his left leg. The tightness occurred when Devers tried to awkwardly dance around a tag during a failed attempt to score on a double steal on Wednesday against the Angels.

Both infielders Yu Chang and Christian Arroyo started minor league rehab on Friday. Chang played as the DH for Double-A Portland. He went 0-for-3 and struck out twice. He acknowledged that he felt discomfort when he struck the ball.

Chang, a Taiwanese broadcaster, said: "In my second at-bat I swung a low slider. I felt it getting worse. I tried a third time and swung a cutter. I feel like I need more time."It was all good during batting practice, but I felt soreness when swinging at low pitch."

Trevor Story continues to play baseball in Fort Myers. Cora said that while his throwing progression is a deliberate part of his recovery from right elbow surgery the team is "100%" focused on getting him back to playing shortstop.

Mike Hazen, former GM of the Red Sox, donated $200,000 to the Ivy Brain Tumor Center in honor of his late wife, Nicole Hazen. Nicole Hazen, who died last year from complications caused by glioblastoma at the age of 45, was represented by Mike Hazen.

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