4 Red Sox who will make the 2024 Opening Day roster but won’t last the season

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Tanner Houck

Tanner Houck spent his 2023 season as a starting pitcher for the first time in his career. His stint in the starting rotation didn't serve his numbers well, and he also had his face fractured by a comebacker that shortened his season, so he's never made a full slate of starts. Houck finished the 2023 campaign with a 5.01 ERA in 106 innings.

If Houck makes the starting rotation, there's no telling what a high number of innings pitched could do to his arm. He's only started 42 games in his four-year big league career and half of them came in 2023. Houck has mostly been used as a reliever, but he's started when the squad needed him to.

Hopefully, Houck can pitch an entire season of starter innings if he makes the rotation. If he doesn't, he'd still serve as a great bullpen arm, and he'd even make a quality closer. Throwing him into the starting rotation again may be a risk the desperate-for-pitching Sox might need to take, but it may not last. If he's not capable of soaking up starter innings, there's a chance he's sought after as a reliever, which many contending teams need at the deadline.

And again, a non-contending Sox team doesn't need a glut of relief pitchers, so Boston might be inclined to trade the right-hander if the price is right.

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