Craig Breslow, the newly appointed chief baseball officer of the Boston Red Sox, stated Wednesday that Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock are still going to be stretched out as starters for now, but that could change later this offseason, per Alex Speier.
Two spots in the Red Sox starting rotation are cemented -- Brayan Bello and Chris Sale. Breslow has also made it very clear in his short time as head of the Red Sox front office that the team plans to aggressively pursue starting pitching. Hypothetically speaking, let's say the Red Sox bring in two strong arms to the current rotation either via free agency or trade. One rotation spot then remains, leaving the question: Who gets the fifth and final rotation spot for the Red Sox in 2024?
Nick Pivetta, Kutter Crawford, Garrett Whitlock, and Tanner Houck have all shifted back and forth between the starting rotation and bullpen at some point. They have all been tolerable in each respective role, showing both flashes of dominance paired with frustrating mediocrity. Additionally, despite being moved to the bullpen, Houck and Whitlock are regularly used as multi-inning bullpen arms anyway. Let's look at each option for a fifth starter.