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)