The case for each pitcher in the race for a spot in the Red Sox starting rotation

Washington Nationals vs. Boston Red Sox
Washington Nationals vs. Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
2 of 3

Garrett Whitlock

Whitlock was also on the Red Sox last year and his change in appearance was one of the highlights of Boston's winter — he packed on muscle that has garnered comparisons to Red Sox legend and new spring training helper Jon Lester.

Whitlock has had his ups and downs this spring, but his performances seem to be evening out for the better. His Friday outing against the Twins was his best yet. In 4.1 innings, Whitlock posted five strikeouts and one walk. He allowed two hits, but nothing came of them.

In 2023, Whitlock served as one of Alex Cora's flexible pitching options, moving between the rotation and the bullpen. His 2024 Grapefruit League numbers show improvement from last season's work — he logged a 5.15 ERA and 13 home runs allowed over 71.2 innings in 2023. It was far from Whitlock's best year, as he pitched nearly seven fewer innings than he did in 2022, but he allowed 17 more hits, 11 more runs and three more homers.

Whitlock himself wasn't proud of his 2023 showing. If the new-look pitcher can find his 2021 or 2022 form this season, he could very well earn Boston's final rotation spot. If he does not, he'll be a great addition to the Sox's bullpen instead.