Red Sox manager Alex Cora reveals Tanner Houck likely done for the year
Much like the Boston Red Sox, Tanner Houck’s season is likely over.
On Thursday, ahead of the Sox’ Labor Day weekend four-game series against the Texas Rangers, manager Alex Cora provided a suboptimal update on Tanner Houck, who’s been on the Injured List since early August. Now, it looks like he’ll stay there; Cora told reporters that there’s now “a good chance” Houck will miss the remainder of the season.
The Sox’ first-round pick in 2017, Houck has been a solid addition to the pitching staff, working as a starter and out of the bullpen. While he originally came up as a starting pitcher, he was quite successful in relief this season, posting a 2.70 ERA over 28 appearances, including 14 games finished and eight saves. He held opposing batters to .214/.298/.289, striking 43 across 43 1/3 innings.
This news would have been a devastating blow last year; unfortunately, it’s par for the course this season. Injuries have piled up all summer long, especially in the pitching department, and only a few players have actually returned from the IL. Houck is still a significant loss, and it will make the rest of the games even less appetizing, but at least the Sox were already mostly out of the Wild Card race already. The silver lining is that instead of feeling pressure to return for a playoff push, Houck can take more time to recover and get ready for next season.
On a more proactive note, if Houck is done and the Sox are probably out, there’s absolutely no reason not to use the remaining slate of games to get first looks at other pitching prospects. The Sox should DFA and release hopeless pitchers like Jeurys Familia and Ryan Brasier and give a prospect like Frank German a chance to prove himself.
It’s time to get proactive.