The Boston Red Sox had a slow start to their season, losing to the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day. However, the Red Sox could soon get a boost to their pitching staff with the return of Garrett Whitlock.

Whitlock is pitching for the Worcester Red Sox on Friday and once again on April 5, via Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Assuming Whitlock stays healthy through those two starts, April 11 seems like his likely return date, Abraham speculated.

Garrett Whitlock was placed on the injured list retroactive to March 27 with a hip injury. While he missed Opening Day, Whitlock is poised to make a quick recovery if his rehab starts go to plan.

The right-hander came to Boston in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft. Since then, Whitlock has gone on to make 77 appearances for the Red Sox, pitching to a 2.73 ERA with a 163/32 K/BB ratio. The Red Sox rewarded Whitlock with a four-year, almost $19 million contract extension prior to this season.

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Originally, Whitlock came to the team as a relief pitcher. However, Boston has experimented with stretching Whitlock out into a starter. He earned nine starts for the Red Sox in 2022. When he returns to the field in 2023, Boston is hoping Whitlock can handle a role inside the team’s pitching rotation.

After Opening Day, it’s clear the Red Sox are in need of some starting pitcher. Corey Kluber bombed in his Boston debut, allowing five runs in just over three innings.

Garrett Whitlock is a pitcher on the rise for Boston and a player the Red Sox are counting on. After starting the year on the injured list, Whitlock looks almost ready to make his MLB return.