While the Red Sox were able to pick up a fifth straight win on Sunday and complete a sweep over the Orioles, maintaining the top spot in the wildcard race, there was a little bit of bad news when Garrett Whitlock left the game with a trainer. It was ultimately described as right pectoral tightness, but the severity has been unclear. It’s still not totally clear, but we do know that it is enough to place the righty on the 10-day injured list. Ryan Brasier is coming back up to take his place on the roster.
Garrett Whitlock goes to the IL. Brasier called back up.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) September 21, 2021
This is obviously a big blow, but we should note that the Red Sox don’t think it’s anything too serious. There is a chance he will only be out for the 10 days, which in turn would mean he could still come back for a couple of appearances before the end of the regular season. The move is backdated to Monday, so he would be eligible to return for the final four games.
In Whitlock’s absence, we can expect a whole lot of relievers getting work in big innings depending on matchups. Brasier, who has not pitched much at all in the majors this year, and has been largely ineffective when he has, won’t be part of the mix. Instead, look for Adam Ottavino, Garrett Richards, Matt Barnes, and Hansel Robles to get the late-inning work. Tanner Houck’s usage should also be interesting over these final two weeks. The Whitlock injury is certainly a big blow, but if they can get him back for a tune-up or two before what is hopefully a Wildcard Game berth, it could have been much, much worse.