Before Garrett Whitlock achieved stardom with New York Yankees’ archrivals, the Boston Red Sox, the pitcher was a prospect in the Bombers’ system. He was a starter, and suffered a long-term injury that put a cloud over his long-term future (Tommy John surgery).
The Yankees left him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft, and the rest is history: the Red Sox took a chance on him, turned him into a reliever, and he became an essential part of Boston’s bullpen in 2021.
Last year, he pitched in 46 games and had a 1.96 ERA, covering 73.1 innings, and striking out 9.94 hitters per nine frames. He was a true weapon who added versatility to the relief corps, as he compiled a 8-4 record with two saves.
According to the Boston Globe, Whitlock wasn’t happy about leaving the Yankees, the first organization that gave him the chance to play professional ball.
The former Yankees prospect was “disappointed”, but didn’t take it personal
“I wouldn’t say I was pissed. There’s a little bit of disappointment and everything. Like, dang, that would have been nice. But at the same time, I also understood I was coming off Tommy John. I didn’t take it personally or anything.”
His future took a huge turn after he completed a very good season in Boston. He won’t pitch for spot on the roster: instead, he will have some peace of mind knowing that is already guaranteed. However, he still doesn’t know what role he will fill, because he may be used as a starter.
“They told me to come in prepared to be, like, fighting for a starting job, and they’ll reevaluate it from there,” he said. “So I’m going to build up and I’m going to go in and be as prepared as I can be. … I enjoy starting. I love the routine behind it and everything, but at the same time, I’m a competitor. So whenever you tell me to go out there and get outs, I’m going to treat it as if it’s a 0-0 ballgame and I’ve got to bury you and I’ve got to put you away.”
The former Yankees’ farmhand is under control through the 2026 season for the Red Sox.