Trevor Story’s first season with the Red Sox is likely over

The Red Sox had been optimistic that second baseman Trevor Story would be able to come off the injured list in time for the team’s final series of the season next week. That no longer seems realistic.

Story, who has been sidelined with a left heel contusion since September 11, has been feeling under the weather. As a result, he will not be able to travel with the Red Sox to Toronto for this weekend’s series against the Blue Jays, manager Alex Cora said on Thursday.

If this is indeed it for Story in 2022, it was certainly an eventful first season in Boston. After spending the first six years of his big-league career with the Rockies, the 29-year-old infielder signed a six-year, $140 million contract with the Red Sox in March.

That began a string of new experiences for Story, who was switching teams, cities, leagues, and positions while becoming a father for the first time. Shortly into his Red Sox tenure, Story missed three games in April due to a stomach bug. He then missed 38 games over the summer after being hit by a pitch on July 12 that caused a small hairline fracture near his right wrist.

The heel contusion that Story sustained in Baltimore earlier this month has him on track to miss the final 21 games of the season. If he does not appear in another contest, Story would have only played in 94 games this year. Outside of the COVID-shortened 2020 season — in which he appeared in 59 of 60 games for Colorado — that would be the lowest total of his career.

In those 94 games, Story proved to be inconsistent at times offensively. While the right-handed hitter had his moments — such as when he put the Red Sox on his back for a week in May — he ultimately slashed just .238/.303/.434 with 22 doubles, 16 home runs, 66 RBIs, 53 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, 32 walks, and 122 strikeouts in 396 plate appearances. With a 100 wRC+, he was, in essence, a league-average hitter.

Defensively, however, Story proved to be far above average. His six defensive runs saved rank eighth among all major-league second basemen. That level of production comes after Story had only played shortstop in his six seasons with the Rockies.

Between what he did at the plate and in the field, Story ranks fifth on the Red Sox in bWAR (2.5), per Baseball-Reference. By no means is that bad, though it is rather underwhelming for a player of Story’s caliber.

In a recent conversation with Cora at Tropicana Field, Story vowed that he would be better in 2023.

“I said, ‘We’re going to be better. I promise you we’re going to be better,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo). “He’s like, ‘I promise you I’m going to be better.’ So we’re on the same page as far as that.”

Story, who will be entering the second year of his six-year deal, is expected to be a big part of the Red Sox roster for the foreseeable future. The same cannot be said for Xander Bogaerts, who has the ability to opt out of his deal and become a free-agent this winter.

In theory, the Red Sox could move Story back to his natural position at shortstop if Bogaerts winds up signing elsewhere in 2023. Cora, however, does not want to entertain that possibility quite yet.

“Obviously, the goal here is for him to play second. I don’t want him to play short,” Cora said. “But just the athlete, you see it. You see the athlete and the range. It’s not that he’s fast. It’s one thing to be fast. I was slow, I was a slow runner, but I was a quick defender. He’s both, with the way he moves. It’s impressive.”

Hailed by Cora as a “great” teammate, Story has already said that he would like to continue playing alongside Bogaerts beyond this season. Cora anticipates that he will play a key role in recruiting other free agents as well.

“He’s all-in with us. He’s a good player,” said Cora. “He is. You see the record when he played and he didn’t play. It’s day and night. He’s going to help us to win a lot of games.”

(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez belts game-winning homer as Red Sox take series from Orioles with 5-3 victory

The Red Sox fell behind early, battled back, and blew a late lead. But they still held on for a series-clinching victory over the Orioles on Thursday afternoon. Boston defeated Baltimore, 5-3, to extend its winning streak to three and improve to 75-81 on the season.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his first start since August 12, pitched well in his return from the injured list. The veteran right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and zero walks to go along with three strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings of work.

Both of those Orioles runs came in the top of the third. Following back-to-back singles from Kyle Stowers and Jorge Mateo to lead off the inning, Stowers scored from third by avoiding Connor Wong’s tag on an Adley Rutschman groundout. Anthony Santander then hit a grounder in the direction of Triston Casas, who booted the ball. The fielding error allowed Mateo to score from third to double his side’s lead at 2-0.

The Sox pulled back even with Baltimore in their half of the fourth. J.D. Martinez reached base on a one-out double off Orioles starter Mike Baumann. Casas then made up for his previous mistake by roping a 330-foot double off the Green Monster that plated Martinez to make it a 2-1 game. Enrique Hernandez followed with a run-scoring single of his own to bring in Casas and knot things up at two runs apiece.

Eovaldi, meanwhile, retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth before getting the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The 32-year-old hurler finished with 72 pitches (51 strikes). He did not factor into the decision, but he did lower his ERA on the season down to 4.05.

In relief of Eovaldi, Eduard Bazardo recorded the final out of the fifth and also sat down the side in order in the top of the sixth. A half-inning later, Boston got to Orioles reliever Cionel Perez.

Alex Verdugo led off with a line-drive single and promptly advanced to second base on a wild pitch. He moved up an additional 90 feet on a Casas single and then raced home when Christian Arroyo grounded out to third base.

With a brand new one-run lead in hand, Matt Strahm almost immediately gave that up in the seventh when Stowers took him 399 feet deep to right-center to tie the score at 3-3.

Following a scoreless top of the eighth from Zack Kelly, though, the Red Sox again responded. With one out and one runner on, Martinez came through with a clutch two-run homer on the very first pitch he saw (a hanging slider on the inner half of the plate) from Dillon Tate.

Martinez’s 14th home run of the season left his bat at 100.1 mph and travelled 392 feet into the Monster Seats to give the Sox a 5-3 lead going into the ninth. There, Kaleb Ort worked his way around a two-out single to notch the first save of his big-league career. Kelly was credited with his first career win as well.

Offensively, Verdugo, Martinez, and Casas accounted for six of Boston’s nine hits. Verdugo went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, Martinez went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Casas went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk.

Next up: Final road trip to Toronto

The Red Sox will now head to Toronto for their final road trip of the season. It comes in the form of a three-game weekend series against the Blue Jays. Native Canadian Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston in Friday’s series opener opposite fellow righty-hander Alek Manoah.

First pitch from Rogers Centre is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Abraham Almonte and Alex Verdugo both homer, Rich Hill fans 9 over 6 scoreless innings as Red Sox defeat Orioles, 3-1

In rather uneventful fashion, the Red Sox won their second straight over the Orioles on Wednesday night. Boston bested Baltimore by a final score of 3-1 to improve to 74-81 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his 25th start of the year, pitched well for the Sox. The veteran left-hander scattered five hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work.

The Red Sox provided Hill with an early lead. After Rafael Devers ripped a one-out ground-rule double off Orioles starter Dean Kremer, Alex Verdugo followed by lacing a run-scoring single to center field to get his side on the board first in the first inning.

Two innings later, Abraham Almonte took the fourth pitch he saw from Kremer and drilled a 421-foot solo shot to right field for his first home run in a Red Sox uniform.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Hill ended his night by retiring the final three batters he faced in order. The 42-year-old southpaw finished with exactly 100 pitches (67 strikes) and induced 15 swings-and-misses. He also picked up his eighth winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA to 4.41.

Shortly after Hill put an end to the top of the sixth, Verdugo led off the bottom half by sneaking a 331-foot liner past Pesky’s Pole for his 11th home run of the season. It left his bat at 102.6 mph and gave Boston a 3-0 lead heading into the seventh.

In relief of Hill, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Brasier needed just 10 pitches to get through a scoreless seventh inning. Kaleb Ort, on the other hand, served up a solo homer to Robinson Chirinos to begin the eighth before settling down and retiring the next three Orioles he faced.

Matt Barnes was responsible for the ninth inning. The righty allowed two runners to reach base but ultimately held on to secure the 3-1 victory while also notching his sixth save of the year.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Baumann in series finale

The Red Sox will look to take this four-game series from the Orioles on Thursday afternoon. Nathan Eovaldi, who last pitched on August 13, will be activated from the injured list to make his penultimate start of the season for Boston. Baltimore will counter with fellow right-hander Michael Baumann.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Eric Hosmer targeting Monday return from injured list

Like Trevor Story, Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer could return before the end of the season.

Hosmer, who has been on the injured list since August 21 with low back inflammation, took live batting practice against Kutter Crawford at Fenway Park on Wednesday afternoon.

When speaking with reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) prior to Wednesday’s contest against the Orioles, Red Sox manager Alex Cora indicated that Hosmer could be ready for the final series of the season with the Rays beginning on Monday.

Since the minor-league season is over, however, Hosmer would not have the benefit of going out on a rehab assignment. The 32-year-old would instead stay behind and face live pitching in Boston while the Red Sox visit the Blue Jays in Toronto over the weekend.

“He hit today. Let’s see how he reacts to that and we’ll go from there,” Cora said of Hosmer. “There’s no at-bats right now [in the Minors], but obviously, if somebody stays back [from the road trip], another live BP, and I do believe by Monday he’ll be OK for the Rays series. Just the running part of it today. He hit, he ran. Let’s see how reacts tomorrow and we’ll see what we do.”

The Red Sox acquired Hosmer and minor-leaguers Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier from the Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome ahead of last month’s trade deadline. As part of the deal, San Diego agreed to pay the remainder of Hosmer’s contract down to the minimum.

Hosmer, who is under club control through 2025, has appeared in just 12 games with the Sox. In those 12 games, the left-handed hitter has batted .225/.311/.300 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs scored, four walks, and nine strikeouts over 45 plate appearances.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Triston Casas homers again in first career 3-hit game as Red Sox snap skid with 13-9 win over Orioles

The Red Sox put an end to a six-game losing streak with a much-needed win over the Orioles on Tuesday night. Boston defeated Baltimore by a final score of 13-9 to improve to 73-81 on the season.

Michael Wacha, making his 22nd start of the year for the Sox, did not pitch particularly well. The veteran right-hander surrendered six runs on eight hits and zero walks to go along with three strikeouts over just 3 1/3 innings of work.

The Orioles drew first blood in their half of the first inning. After getting the first two outs rather easily, Wacha gave up a two-out double to Anthony Santander that was followed by an RBI triple off the bat of Ryan Mountcastle.

An inning later, the Sox responded on one swing of the bat from Triston Casas. Following a leadoff single from J.D. Martinez, Casas cranked a two-run shot off Orioles starter Kyle Bradish for his fifth home run of the season. It had an exit velocity of 110.5 mph, traveled 421 feet over the Green Monster, and gave Boston a 2-1 lead.

That newfound lead did not last long, though, as Wacha served up back-to-back homers to Adley Rutschman and the red-hot Santander in the top of the third. In the bottom half, the Red Sox pulled back even with the O’s when Bradish plunked Rob Refsnyder while the bases were loaded. Connor Wong also drew a bases-loaded walk off Bradish before Tommy Pham (two-run single), Xander Bogaerts (bases-loaded walk), and Alex Verdugo (sacrifice fly) drove in three more runs to cap off a six-run frame.

Wacha, however, was still not able to settle in. The righty came back out for the fourth and immediately surrendered a leadoff homer to Ramon Urias. Rougned Odor followed with another single and promptly scored all the way from first on an RBI triple from Austin Hays. After striking out Kyle Stowers, Wacha was pulled for Matt Strahm.

Strahm officially closed the book on Wacha’s night by allowing the runner he inherited to score on an RBI single from Cedric Mullins. The lefty also allowed the Orioles to tie things up at 8-8 by giving up another (two-run) blast to Santander.

Wacha, who finished with 70 pitches (45 strikes), did not factor into Tuesday’s decision. The 31-year-old hurler induced 10 swings and misses as his ERA on the season rose to 3.06. Strahm, meanwhile, earned the win by settling in with a scoreless fifth inning.

Before that happened, the Red Sox lineup erupted for five more runs in their half of the fourth. With no outs and the bases loaded, Wong reached on a fielding error to push across Casas from third. Pham was then hit by a Jake Reed pitch, which brought in Refsnyder. Rafael Devers greeted new Orioles reliever D.L. Hall by blooping a two-run single to right field. Bogaerts capped off the scoring by reaching on a fielder’s choice that allowed Pham to come in all the way from second and make it a 13-8 game in favor of Boston.

From there, the Red Sox bullpen was able to keep the Orioles bats in check. Strahm, as previously mentioned, kept the O’s off the board in the fifth before Zack Kelly retired the side in order in the sixth. In the seventh, John Schreiber gave up one run on two hits before Ryan Brasier worked his way around a leadoff single in an otherwise clean top of the eighth.

Matt Barnes made things interesting in the ninth by bringing the tying run to the plate with one out. But he rallied by getting Hays to ground into a game-ending, 6-4-3 double play to secure the 13-9 victory.

All told, the Red Sox tallied 13 runs on 11 hits, eight walks, and two hit batsman. Rafael Devers went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk, Martinez went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored, and Casas put together the first three-hit game of his young career.

Next up: Hill vs. Kremer

The Red Sox will send veteran left-hander Rich Hill to the mound as they go for their second straight win on Wednesday night. The Orioles will counter with right-hander Dean Kremer.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Trevor Story could return for final series of season against Rays

If Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story plays again this season, it will come in the team’s final series of the year against the Rays at Fenway Park next week.

Story, who has been sidelined with a left heel contusion since September 11, continues to feel discomfort when he runs. The Red Sox originally thought it was a day-to-day injury, but later opted to place the veteran infielder on the 10-day injured list last Monday.

With time running out on the season, manager Alex Cora said Tuesday that Story would not play in this weekend’s series in Toronto because he does not want the 29-year-old running on the turf at Rogers Centre.

“We’re trying,” Cora told reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne). “He’s out there taking grounders. The running progression is the hard part. The moving around and the swinging the bat has been OK, but when he gets to that 70-75 percent, that’s when he feels it. We’re still working, and hopefully he can play a few games.”

Story, who signed a six-year, $140 million deal with Boston in March, has been limited to just 94 games this season due to two stints on the injured list. He missed more than six weeks of action earlier this summer because of a small hairline fracture near his right wrist.

Upon returning from the IL in late August, the right-handed hitter put together a productive 13-game stretch before slipping on the first-base bag in Baltimore earlier this month. He has now missed each of the Red Sox’ last 13 games coming into play on Tuesday and will miss at least five more through the weekend.

When healthy, Story has batted .238/.303/.434 with 22 doubles, 16 home runs, 66 RBIs, 53 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, 32 walks, and 122 strikeouts in 396 trips to the plate. He has also posted five Defensive Runs Saved and 10 Outs Above Average in 813 2/3 innings at second base.

If Story is able to run without any sort of discomfort in the coming days, he should have the chance to end his first season in a Red Sox uniform on an encouraging note and — perhaps more importantly — on his own terms.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox pitching prospect Victor Santos tosses 5 one-run innings in final start of season for Triple-A Worcester

Victor Santos ended his first full season in the Red Sox organization on a strong note Monday night.

In his final start of the year for Triple-A Worcester, Santos held the Rochester Red Wings to just one run on four hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

The right-hander very well could have pitched deeper into the game after only throwing 72 pitches (49 strikes) through five, but it was ultimately called in the top of the sixth due to rain in the Rochester-area. And so the WooSox came away with a 6-1 win over the Red Wings while Santos was credited with a complete-game victory.

Monday’s performance continued an encouraging trend for Santos that dates back to August 25. In his final six starts of the season for Worcester, the 22-year-old hurler posted a 1.91 ERA and 2.45 FIP with 39 strikeouts to just nine walks across 33 frames.

This comes after Santos initially struggled when he first made the jump from Double-A Portland to Worcester last month. The Dominican-born righty was tagged for 17 runs in his first three starts (10 2/3 innings) for the WooSox before turning things around in late August.

Prior to earning that aforementioned promotion, Santos had pitched to a 4.97 ERA and 4.78 FIP with 79 punchouts to 20 walks over 19 appearances (16 starts) spanning 101 1/3 innings for the Sea Dogs to begin the 2022 campaign.

The Red Sox originally acquired Santos from the Phillies as the player to be named later in the January 2021 trade that sent minor-league infielder C.J. Chatham to Philadelphia. He made his organizational debut in Portland last July.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 191 pounds, Santos throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 90-92 mph four-seam fastball that tops out at 93 mph, a low-90s sinker, an 82-84 mph split-changeup, and an 83-86 mph slider, per his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

Although he has already reached Triple-A and does not turn 23 until next July, Santos is not currently regarded by any major publication as one of the top pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system. He is instead viewed by sites such as SoxProspects.com as a “potential solid organizational starter” who has the “ceiling of an emergency up-and-down depth arm.”

That being said, Santos can become Rule 5-eligible this winter. If left unprotected by the Red Sox, he could be scooped up by another team in December. Assuming he does not get picked up, though, Santos would seemingly be in line to return to Worcester’s rotation for the start of the 2023 season.

(Picture of Victor Santos: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox give up 5 home runs in lopsided 14-8 loss to Orioles

On a rain-filled Monday night at Fenway Park, the Red Sox gave up five home runs in a lopsided loss to the Orioles. Boston fell to Baltimore by a final score of 14-8 to extend its losing streak to six and drop to 72-81 on the season.

Connor Seabold, making his fifth start of the year for the Sox, allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over two rain-shortened innings of work.

After throwing a first-pitch strike to the very first batter he faced, Seabold promptly served up a leadoff home run to Cedric Mullins on a hanging slider. It only went downhill from there as the rookie right-hander surrendered four more in the second inning.

Rougned Odor led off with a ground-rule double and advanced to third on a Kyle Stowers single. Odor scored and Stowers went from first-to-third on a Jorge Mateo RBI double. Mullins plated two more on a sharply-hit triple over the head of Abraham Almonte in center field. The speedster then scored from third on a failed pickoff attempt from Reese McGuire that ended up in left field.

The Red Sox got two of those four runs back in their half of the second. Matched up against O’s starter Jordan Lyles, Martinez led off by cranking a solo shot 420 feet over the Green Monster for his 13th home run of the season. Triston Casas, Rob Refsnyder, and Almonte each reached base with one out to bring Enrique Hernandez to the plate. Hernandez delivered by ripping an RBI single to left field that brought in Casas and cut the Baltimore lead to three at 5-2.

The bases remained loaded for Rafael Devers, who grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. The skies above Fenway then began to open up, prompting a rain delay that lasted exactly 100 minutes.

With that much time having passed, Seabold was done for the night and replaced by Tyler Danish when the game resumed at approximately 9:45 p.m. eastern time.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 54 (36 strikes), Seabold only managed to induce three swings-and-misses. The 26-year-old hurler was charged with his fourth losing decision of the season as his ERA rose to an unsightly 11.29.

Danish, meanwhile, yielded an RBI triple to Stowers in the third and kept the Orioles off the board in the fourth. The Red Sox made things interesting in the latter half of the frame after Baltimore had already swapped Lyles for Spenser Watkins.

With one out and the bases full, Hernandez scorched a two-run single down the left field line and advanced to second on. Devers then drove him in with a run-scoring single of his own to pull the Red Sox back to within one run at 6-5.

That is where the Orioles began to pull away. Danish issued a pair of walks and an infield single to begin things in the fifth. He was given the hook in favor of Zack Kelly, who gave up back-to-back run-scoring hits to Odor and Stowers to make it an 8-5 game. Kaleb Ort served up a pair of homers to Anthony Santander and Gunnar Henderson in the sixth, allowing the Orioles to re-establish a commanding 11-5 lead.

Frankin German got the first two outs of the seventh before issuing a walk and giving up the second home run of the night to Santander, who now has 31 on the year. Through three appearances to begin his career, German owns a 31.50 ERA.

In the bottom of the seventh, Martine and Casas each reached base before Rob Refsnyder took Logan Gillaspie 414 feet to dead center field for his sixth home run of the season. The 103.5 mph blast cut the deficit to five at 13-8.

But the Orioles tacked on another when Austin Hays took Eduard Bazardo deep in the eighth. Boston went down quietly from there as 14-8 would go on to be Monday’s final score.

All told, the Red Sox got multi-hit games from Hernandez, Devers, Refsnyder, and Almonte as they outhit the Orioles, 15-14. They also went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base as a team.

Next up: Wacha vs. Bradish

The Red Sox will send right-hander Michael Wacha to the mound as they look to put an end to their six-game losing streak on Saturday. The Orioles will counter with fellow righty Kyle Bradish.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Reese McGuire and Anthony Santander: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Allan Castro takes another step forward in first season stateside

Allan Castro can no longer be called the reigning Red Sox Latin Program Position Player of the Year. That distinction now falls to infielder/outfielder Andy Lugo, who received the honor on Monday.

Castro, however, put together a strong first season in the United States after being named the organization’s Latin Program Position Player of the Year in 2021.

Following a 2021 campaign in which he posted a .756 OPS in the Dominican Summer League, Castro made the jump to the Florida Complex League for the start of the 2022 season. In 39 games with Boston’s rookie-level affiliate in Fort Myers, the switch-hitter slashed a respectable .279/.355/.451 with four doubles, four triples, three home runs, 17 RBIs, 19 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 13 walks, and 32 strikeouts over 141 plate appearances.

Though he may have been overshadowed by fellow outfielder Miguel Bleis, Castro still ranked 11th in batting average, 26th in on-base percentage, eighth in slugging percentage, ninth in OPS (.805), 11th in isolated power (.172), 13th in speed score (7.8), and 11th in wRC+ (122) among FCL hitters who made at least 140 trips to the plate this season, per FanGraphs.

Not long after the Florida Complex League season came to a close, Castro and several other Red Sox minor-leaguers earned a promotion to Low-A Salem. He registered just one hit in his first five games with Salem but ended the year by going 5-for-18 (.278) with a double, a triple, four RBIs, and five runs scored in his final five games.

“Castro took a significant step forward this season,” Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero told BloggingtheRedSox.com via email. “He’s continued to grow and gained a lot of strength. Additionally, he found ways to make his swing more efficient and started using the whole field more often.”

Between the two affiliates, Castro logged 232 1/3 innings in left field, 84 innings in center field, and 24 innings in right field. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder recorded four outfield assists and committed just one error all year.

“His athleticism is starting to show itself more on the field,” Romero said. “He is sort of a sleeper prospect who we expect will do more things in 2023.”

Castro, 19, is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 53 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox originally signed the native Dominican for $100,000 as an international free-agent coming out of Santo Domingo in July 2019.

At that time, Castro was a middle infielder, but he has since made the transition to the outfield and figures to stick there moving forward. Taking into account that he does not turn 20 until next May, Castro is projected by SoxProspects.com to return to Salem for the start of the 2023 season.

(Picture of Allan Castro: Bryan Green/Flickr)

Red Sox reliever Garrett Whitlock undergoes successful hip surgery

Red Sox reliever Garrett Whitlock has undergone a successful right hip arthroscopy. The procedure was performed by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, the club announced Monday.

Whitlock, who was shut down from throwing last week, has been hampered by hip issues throughout the season. The right-hander spent more than a month on the injured list earlier this summer because of right hip inflammation and had been walking with a noticeable limp during the second half of the year.

While the Red Sox initially tried to manage the issue by carefully limiting Whitlock’s workload, they reached a point where shutting him down and opting for surgery became the best option available as they continued to slide out of contention.

Despite any discomfort he may have felt on the mound, Whitlock still put together a productive season. The 26-year-old hurler posted a 3.45 ERA and 3.30 FIP to go along with 82 strikeouts to 15 walks over 31 appearances (nine starts) spanning 78 1/3 innings of work.

After spending the first few weeks of the 2022 campaign in the bullpen, Whitlock moved to Boston’s starting rotation in late April. The righty produced a 4.15 ERA (3.61 FIP) across 39 innings as a starter before moving back to the bullpen on July 15. As a reliever, he pitched to a 2.75 ERA with 44 strikeouts to just six walks over 39 1/3 frames.

Whitlock, who was originally acquired from the Yankees in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, signed a four-year, $18.75 million contract extension with the Red Sox back in April. That deal includes club options for an additional two years, so Whitlock is under club control through the end of the 2028 season. It also comes with escalators that would increase the value of the contract if he accumulates a significant number of innings as a starter.

Because of that, the Red Sox will have an important decision to make this winter when it comes to determining if Whitlock is better suited to be a starter or a reliever in the long-run. The club does expect Whitlock to be ready for the start of spring training in February.

In the meantime, Whitlock’s spot on the major-league roster has been taken by fellow righty Connor Seabold. If they so choose, the Sox could elect to transfer Whitlock to the 60-day injured list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)