In his latest step towards making his return from the injured list, Red Sox reliever Garrett Whitlock threw a bullpen session at Nationals Park on Friday afternoon.
Whitlock initially suffered a right pectoral strain during his appearance against the Orioles on September 19. He was placed on the 10-day injured list because of it two days later.
Since that time, the 25-year-old right-hander was able to play catch on a couple of occasions while the Sox were in Baltimore leading up to Friday’s bullpen session.
The plan now, according to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, will be to see how Whitlock feels after the fact before deciding if he will be activated from the IL before the regular season ends on Sunday.
“Obviously we have to wait to see how he feels throughout the day,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) before Friday’s game against the Nationals. “But I do believe he’s going to be OK. Then we’ll decide when to activate him if he’s fine. Maybe tomorrow, Sunday, whatever it is. So we’ll wait and see how he reacts.”
At the time he was placed on the injured list, Whitlock had posted a 1.99 ERA and 2.88 FIP to go along with 79 strikeouts to 17 walks over 45 relief appearances spanning 72 1/3 innings of work.
In Whitlock’s absence, the Boston bullpen has struggled to the tune of a 4.55 ERA over their last eight games and 31 2/3 innings pitched coming into play on Friday, per FanGraphs.
Compounded with Whitlock’s injury is the fact that left-handed reliever Josh Taylor has also been on the IL since September 26 due to a lower back strain.
Taylor was slated to meet the Red Sox in D.C. on Friday for further evaluation after receiving treatment in Boston. The 28-year-old has yet to resume throwing or any sort of baseball activities, however, so it would appear as though his regular season could be over.
“It hasn’t progressed the way we thought,” Cora said in regards to Taylor’s back strain. “Right now, without throwing, we don’t know. We have to be patient and let’s see what happens. As of now, I don’t see it (happening) tomorrow.”
(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)