Before closing out the regular season against the Nationals at Nationals Park on Sunday, the Red Sox activated right-hander Garrett Whitlock from the 10-day injured list.
In a corresponding move, fellow righty Eduard Bazardo was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Sunday afternoon.
Whitlock returns from the injured list after initially being sidelined with a right pectoral strain that he sustained exactly two weeks ago Sunday in the seventh inning of an 8-6 win over the Orioles at Fenway Park.
While he was eligible to be activated as early as Thursday, the 25-year-old threw a bullpen session in D.C. on Friday, and that seemed to be the final hurdle he needed to get over before being cleared to return to action.
In 45 appearances out of the Boston bullpen this year, Whitlock has posted a dazzling 1.99 ERA and 2.89 FIP to go along with 79 strikeouts to just 17 walks over 72 1/3 innings pitched.
The Red Sox originally acquired Whitlock from the Yankees in the major-league phase of last winter’s Rule 5 Draft, and he has since proven to be one of — if not the best reliever on the team in his rookie season.
As Boston looks to ensure that they will be hosting the American League Wild Card game with a win over Washington on Sunday, Whitlock will be among those available out of the bullpen behind starter Chris Sale.
Nathan Eovaldi is the only pitcher who will not be available for the Sox on Sunday, as the veteran right-hander is in line to either start said Wild Card Game or a potential tie-breaking Game 163 if that’s what it comes down to.
(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)