1:10 pm: Right-hander Eduard Bazardo has been optioned as the corresponding move, the Red Sox announced.
11:22 am: The Red Sox are activating right-handed pitcher Garrett Whitlock off the injured list for the final scheduled game of the season, according to manager Alex Cora, who spoke to various reporters, including Ian Browne of MLB.com. Whitlock went on the IL September 21st with a pectoral strain and now returns less than two weeks later. The corresponding move has not been announced at this time.
After being selected from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft, the 25-year-old has emerged to be one of Boston’s best bullpen arms, if not the best. In 45 games, he’s racked up 72 1/3 innings with an excellent ERA of 1.99. His 26.8% strikeout rate and 5.8% walk rate are both much better than the league averages of 23.2% and 8.7%.
The return of Whitlock figures to be a boost to a Red Sox team that’s mired in a four-team scramble to get to the ALDS. The Red Sox and Yankees are one game ahead of the Blue Jays and Mariners, going into the season’s final day, with the potential for multiple tie-breaking games being needed before the Wild Card game, to determine who moves on to the next round to face the Rays. Each and every pitcher could play an important role in the chaos, especially one as skilled as Whitlock.