Predicting Boston Red Sox’s Opening Day Starting Rotation for 2022

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 29: A bullpen is constructed in the concourse in advance of a training period before the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season on June 29, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The season was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 29: A bullpen is constructed in the concourse in advance of a training period before the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season on June 29, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The season was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Red Sox Tanner Houck ALDS
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 08: Tanner Houck #89 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 2 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 08, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Red Sox RHP: Tanner Houck

Tanner Houck has been one of the better homegrown Red Sox pitching prospects in recent history and 2022 can mean big things for the right-hander. He stormed onto the scene as the 2020 season was winding down and instantly gave the Fenway Faithful hope for the young hurler. Now with more flexibility than ever in the starting rotation, he’s poised to cement his role going forward.

Before the baseball world went to hell I wrote that Houck has the potential to be vital for the Red Sox pitching staff in 2022. The righty recently spoke about his game plan for next season and it seems that the splitter is getting the lion’s share of his focus this winter. If he can get his splitter into the realm of quality that we know his fastball and slider to be then he’s going to be very dangerous for Boston.

Unfortunately, up to this point, he hasn’t gone deep into many games as his luck running through the lineup a third time isn’t the best. But the only way to get better at something is to continue working at it and Alex Cora is going to need to let his young starter work deeper if he’s going to be reliable in the future.

I like the idea of Houck being the fourth man in the rotation as it separates him from Sale as both have the slider as their specialty. By having that gap between the two the opposition will get a brief break before they run into another nasty slider but this time from the opposite side of the mound. 2022 will be Tanner’s chance to put the stamp on what his career can be with the Red Sox and I fully believe Houck-A-Mania will run wild this season.