Red Sox starter Garrett Whitlock had his rehab assignment transferred from Triple-A Worcester to Double-A Portland on Thursday night.
After starting for the WooSox on Opening Day at Polar Park last week, Whitlock did the same for the Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field. Facing off against another Mets affiliate in the Binghamton Rumble Ponies this time around, the right-hander allowed just one run on one hit and one walk to go along with eight strikeouts over six strong innings of work.
Whitlock took a no-hit bid into the fifth inning before giving up a leadoff home run to Rumble Ponies third baseman Luke Ritter. From there, he retired the last six batters he faced in order to get through six full frames. The 26-year-old hurler finished with 81 pitches (56 strikes) and was consistently in the low-90s with his fastball. He also induced 13 swings-and-misses as Portland went on to defeat Binghamton by a final score of 7-5.
“It was pretty good. Obviously, I would like to take one pitch back. Other than that, though, a decent outing,” Whitlock told Travis Lazarczyk of the Portland Press Herald. “I’m feeling healthy. That’s the biggest thing, and ready to go.”
Between his stops in Worcester and Portland, Whitlock yielded two earned runs on seven hits, two walks, and 14 strikeouts across 10 innings in which he held opposing hitters to a .194 batting average against.
With two rehab starts under his belt, Whitlock now appears ready to rejoin the Red Sox’ rotation. Barring any unforeseen setbacks, the righty will more than likely make his season debut against the Rays at Tropicana Field next Tuesday, according to manager Alex Cora.
Before then, Whitlock said he plans on driving back to Boston on Thursday night before flying out to Detroit and joining the Red Sox for the remainder of their series against the Tigers this weekend.
Whitlock has been in the process of building back up after undergoing right hip surgery in September, which resulted in him getting a late start in spring training and beginning the season on the 15-day injured list. Because his stint on the injured list was backdated to March 27, April 11 (next Tuesday) is the earliest he can be activated.
(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)