Garrett Whitlock

CoffeeNerdness

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Very impressed with Garrett Whitlock's outing today. He wasn't exactly painting with his fastball, but it looked heavy with good downward movement and induced two weak flyouts. His change-up looked fantastic. He threw two straight to the first batter he faced and got an easy out. He struck out Mountcastle on three straight pitches- the third of which was another change-up buried down and in to the righty batter. Cruised through the seventh with two more K's and a weak fly out. Good stuff.
 

rodderick

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Very impressed with Garrett Whitlock's outing today. He wasn't exactly painting with his fastball, but it looked heavy with good downward movement and induced two weak flyouts. His change-up looked fantastic. He threw two straight to the first batter he faced and got an easy out. He struck out Mountcastle on three straight pitches- the third of which was another change-up buried down and in to the righty batter. Cruised through the seventh with two more K's and a weak fly out. Good stuff.
That change up is filthy and the fastball has just enough movement not to look like a beachball in comparison. Also think he spotted everything well. Couldn't be more impressed with these first few outings, dude has looked tremendous.
 

BaseballJones

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Whitlock's game log:

Apr 4: 3.1 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 5 k
Apr 8: 2.0 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 3 k
Apr 14: 1.0 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 1 k
Apr 19: 2.2 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 2 k

TOT: 9.0 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 11 k, 0.00 era, 0.33 whip, 11.0 k/9

Uh....pretty good so far, I'd say.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Whitlock's game log:

Apr 4: 3.1 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 5 k
Apr 8: 2.0 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 3 k
Apr 14: 1.0 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 1 k
Apr 19: 2.2 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 2 k

TOT: 9.0 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 11 k, 0.00 era, 0.33 whip, 11.0 k/9

Uh....pretty good so far, I'd say.
The out of no where development of his change from the direction of Andriese has been breathtaking.

The change up was considered a third “show me” level pitch for him before this year. He was a sinker slider guy, which ultimately lowered his ceiling.

With that pitch in tow, and the ability to pound the strike zone with an elite moving fastball is special. Add to that the breaking ball for a strike and you have a very legitimate starting pitching prospect.

If they were to add him/update our “prospect” list, he would undoubtedly be our top ranked starting pitching prospect. It’s no fluke.
 

bosockboy

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Whitlock's game log:

Apr 4: 3.1 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 5 k
Apr 8: 2.0 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 3 k
Apr 14: 1.0 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 1 k
Apr 19: 2.2 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 2 k

TOT: 9.0 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 11 k, 0.00 era, 0.33 whip, 11.0 k/9

Uh....pretty good so far, I'd say.
No walks in spring training either.
 
Aug 2, 2010
11
Whitlock has been breathtaking. I like this role of middle relief for him, as well. It reminds me of something Bill James said in a 1980s era Baseball Abstract: Earl Weaver liked to break in his promising young arms with a year in middle relief (Doyle Alexander '72, Wayne Garland '74, Scott McGregor and Dennis Martinez '77, Storm Davis '82, etc.) before putting them into the rotation. Feels like a good, low stress way to get a feel for big league hitters. Obviously, if Whitlock continues sporting the 0.00 ERA, we'll have to consider a bigger role, but, for now, I like the way they're using him.
 

DontTauntOrtizMe

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Whitlock has been breathtaking. I like this role of middle relief for him, as well. It reminds me of something Bill James said in a 1980s era Baseball Abstract: Earl Weaver liked to break in his promising young arms with a year in middle relief (Doyle Alexander '72, Wayne Garland '74, Scott McGregor and Dennis Martinez '77, Storm Davis '82, etc.) before putting them into the rotation. Feels like a good, low stress way to get a feel for big league hitters. Obviously, if Whitlock continues sporting the 0.00 ERA, we'll have to consider a bigger role, but, for now, I like the way they're using him.
I feel like every year I watch the Rays or some other club have these relievers who are just nails and I always wonder, "Why can't the Red Sox ever have guys like this?" This year, Whitlock and others have been such a pleasant surprise...hopefully it continues.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I feel like every year I watch the Rays or some other club have these relievers who are just nails and I always wonder, "Why can't the Red Sox ever have guys like this?" This year, Whitlock and others have been such a pleasant surprise...hopefully it continues.
Has anyone figured out why the Yankees didn’t protect him from rule 5 draft? His minor league stats were pretty awesome, he’s young, I don’t see anything not to love.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Has anyone figured out why the Yankees didn’t protect him from rule 5 draft? His minor league stats were pretty awesome, he’s young, I don’t see anything not to love.
24 years old with minimal AA time. He was essentially a 1 pitch pitcher with a projectable slider.

His change is brand new. The fact it’s already a wipe out pitch is a gift from god and Matt Andriese. We are very fortunate.
 

jon abbey

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Has anyone figured out why the Yankees didn’t protect him from rule 5 draft? His minor league stats were pretty awesome, he’s young, I don’t see anything not to love.
I've written about this a few times here, but you can only protect so many unproven pitchers on the 40 man when you are also trying to contend, and NY protected 9 unproven guys over Whitlock, which was already a lot. My guess is that they felt that the guys they protected had higher potential upside as SPs and Whitlock was more of a swingman, and they didn't think he'd be able to help them this year.

Deivi Garcia
Clarke Schmidt
Albert Abreu
Luis Medina
Luis Gil
Miguel Yajure
Alexander Vizcaino
Roansy Contreras
Yoendrys Gomez

NY ended up trading Yajure and Contreras in the Taillon deal, but that is still a ton of 40 man spots clogged with guys who are mostly unlikely to be ready this year. FWIW, they lost Rony Garcia (1st pick overall in the 2020 rule 5 draft to DET) and Trevor Stephan (to CLE in the 2021 rule 5 draft), and neither of those guys are looking like impact players at the moment (Stephan may still be returned mid-season if he continues to be bad, we'll see).
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I've written about this a few times here, but you can only protect so many unproven pitchers on the 40 man when you are also trying to contend, and NY protected 9 unproven guys over Whitlock, which was already a lot. My guess is that they felt that the guys they protected had higher potential upside as SPs and Whitlock was more of a swingman, and they didn't think he'd be able to help them this year.

Deivi Garcia
Clarke Schmidt
Albert Abreu
Luis Medina
Luis Gil
Miguel Yajure
Alexander Vizcaino
Roansy Contreras
Yoendrys Gomez

NY ended up trading Yajure and Contreras in the Taillon deal, but that is still a ton of 40 man spots clogged with guys who are unlikely to be ready this year. FWIW, they lost Rony Garcia (1st pick overall in the 2020 rule 5 draft to DET) and Trevor Stephan (to CLE in the 2021 rule 5 draft), and neither of those guys are looking like impact players at the moment (Stephan may still be returned mid-season if he continues to be bad, we'll see).
That makes a lot of sense, didn’t realize they protected that many guys. I also know next to nothing about Whitlock prior to this season, so I have no idea what was thought about him and his ceiling
 

DeadlySplitter

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Whitlock is also coming off of TJ, I assume that lost year of development was a big factor in him falling into the unprotected bin among those names. This is partially why they are keeping him to low leverage, twice a week, for the time being.

He turns 25 on June 11. They have control over him through the 2026 season if I'm doing my math right. His stock is high enough now that he has an actual chance to be a cheap, very effective starter starting next year, something the Red Sox badly need a couple of if they are to successfully retool quickly. They will take every baby step with him even when it looks like he should take every high leverage opportunity.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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Whitlock has been breathtaking. I like this role of middle relief for him, as well. It reminds me of something Bill James said in a 1980s era Baseball Abstract: Earl Weaver liked to break in his promising young arms with a year in middle relief (Doyle Alexander '72, Wayne Garland '74, Scott McGregor and Dennis Martinez '77, Storm Davis '82, etc.) before putting them into the rotation. Feels like a good, low stress way to get a feel for big league hitters. Obviously, if Whitlock continues sporting the 0.00 ERA, we'll have to consider a bigger role, but, for now, I like the way they're using him.
Whether that is a philosophy that is worth implementing in 2021 is debatable, but I don't think it has anything to do with Whitlock. As a rule 5 guy, they have no choice but to keep him on the big league roster right now (were it not for that, he's probably in Worcester right now...or Scranton). They're really protecting him so far and keeping out of high leverage situations. In his four appearances so far, the Sox have been down 10, up 1, up 5, and up 7. And he's gotten 3, 5, and 5 days rest between appearances. Seems like they're not using him like a normal reliever so much as every 3-4 days he's available and Cora tries to pick a spot to get him some innings. He's excelling, but I expect them to continue to manage his use rather than "promote" to a more prominent role. At least for a few more weeks.
 

Apisith

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I feel we need a separate thread for Whitlock. Cora says they're going to stretch him out and try to give him multiple innings. He is elite at everything right now.
Percentile rankings:
xwOBA - 96th
xERA - 96th
Barrel % - 83rd (0 barrels given up, though, just others have given up 0 as well)
K% - 95th
BB% - 96th

He's not walking anyone, striking out a ton, not giving up hard contact overall. The only negative is that when he does give up contact, it's being hit relatively hard (Hardhit% percentile is 54th). Sample size is still very small, only 13 batted balls. His changeup is elite; he's throwing more of it to lefties than righties. He's only thrown 4 sliders, let's see if he throws more as time passes as this pitch is going to be important when he faces righties.

If Pivetta is inconsistent, I wouldn't mind seeing Whitlock paired with him for every start and they can combine for 6 or 7 innings. Whitlock can go up to 4 innings depending on whether Pivetta is doing well or not. Cora says there's no innings limit for him but I imagine he won't be pushed too hard. It would be good to give him a few breaks if we're competitive because he'll be crucial in the playoffs.
 

joe dokes

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They're really protecting him so far and keeping out of high leverage situations. In his four appearances so far, the Sox have been down 10, up 1, up 5, and up 7. And he's gotten 3, 5, and 5 days rest between appearances. Seems like they're not using him like a normal reliever so much as every 3-4 days he's available and Cora tries to pick a spot to get him some innings. He's excelling, but I expect them to continue to manage his use rather than "promote" to a more prominent role. At least for a few more weeks.
As Cora said the other day, he hasn't pitched anywhere (other than ST this year) in nearly two calendar years. So between TJ and Rule 5 and never having pitched above AA, he's basically getting on the job post-rehab pitching that wouldn't ordinarily happen in games that matter.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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Whitlock has been breathtaking. I like this role of middle relief for him, as well. It reminds me of something Bill James said in a 1980s era Baseball Abstract: Earl Weaver liked to break in his promising young arms with a year in middle relief (Doyle Alexander '72, Wayne Garland '74, Scott McGregor and Dennis Martinez '77, Storm Davis '82, etc.) before putting them into the rotation. Feels like a good, low stress way to get a feel for big league hitters. Obviously, if Whitlock continues sporting the 0.00 ERA, we'll have to consider a bigger role, but, for now, I like the way they're using him.
You should post more frequently. This is good stuff.
 

joe dokes

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Whitlock has been breathtaking. I like this role of middle relief for him, as well. It reminds me of something Bill James said in a 1980s era Baseball Abstract: Earl Weaver liked to break in his promising young arms with a year in middle relief (Doyle Alexander '72, Wayne Garland '74, Scott McGregor and Dennis Martinez '77, Storm Davis '82, etc.) before putting them into the rotation. Feels like a good, low stress way to get a feel for big league hitters. Obviously, if Whitlock continues sporting the 0.00 ERA, we'll have to consider a bigger role, but, for now, I like the way they're using him.
I dont recall anyone of that caliber being brought up that way since David Wells and Jimmy Key. Both, coincidentally, with the 80s Blue Jays.

EDIT: As other have pointed out, the phenomena has continued....
 
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nattysez

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I dont recall anyone of that caliber being brought up that way since David Wells and Jimmy Key. Both, coincidentally, with the 80s Blue Jays.
Mariano Rivera was handled this way in 1996. No starts and only 14 games finished out of 61 appearances (though I realize now that you were talking about grooming a starter this way rather than a reliever).

Edited to add: The MFY were starting Whitlock in the minors. I suspect being able to focus on throwing his best stuff for only an inning or two has improved his performance, though this is a pretty remarkable run.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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I dont recall anyone of that caliber being brought up that way since David Wells and Jimmy Key. Both, coincidentally, with the 80s Blue Jays.
Cardinals did this for a while with, among others, Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, and Carlos Martinez. The Twins did something similar with this dude - another Rule 5 pick! - and it worked out pretty well for them.
 

EddieYost

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The Twins took Johan Santana in the rule 5 draft and used him as a reliever for a while before eventually converting to a starter.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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May the Sox have similar success!

This really is the reason for bringing in Chaim. Mining for gold, with a map and a plan.
This is why I spend an embarrassing amount of time casually wondering when we’ll find out what prospects Chaim is choosing to complete his trade of an expensive .190 hitter.
 

beautokyo

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Has anyone figured out why the Yankees didn’t protect him from rule 5 draft? His minor league stats were pretty awesome, he’s young, I don’t see anything not to love.
Call me kookie but, is there any possibility that he was offered with the Sox having a super good chance of getting him as a pre-requisite in the Ottavino deal that happened a short while later.
 

Rwillh11

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Call me kookie but, is there any possibility that he was offered with the Sox having a super good chance of getting him as a pre-requisite in the Ottavino deal that happened a short while later.
This seems implausible. For one thing, the Sox had the 4th pick in the rule 5, and any of the three teams drafting above them could have taken Whitlock.
 

beautokyo

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This seems implausible. For one thing, the Sox had the 4th pick in the rule 5, and any of the three teams drafting above them could have taken Whitlock.
But no other team snatched him up and that's my point. No Whitlock then no Ottavino deal. Bloom took on a 10 mil. contract which isn't "really" something he's been in a habit of doing. Was just something that has crossed my mind as I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. But you made a fair point.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Call me kookie but, is there any possibility that he was offered with the Sox having a super good chance of getting him as a pre-requisite in the Ottavino deal that happened a short while later.
This makes absolutely no sense. If Whitlock being unprotected was part of the Ottavino deal, why wouldn't they just include him in the deal (as in do the deal sooner)? Seems like a whole lot of risk and intrigue for no reason if it went down that way.

It's as simple as jon abbey laid out up-thread. The Yankees had a bunch of guys they needed to protect and limited space. Whitlock was the odd man out, much to the Red Sox benefit.
 

Chainsaw318

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The Ottavino deal makes total sense on its own. the Red Sox got a player who will help them this year for only $, which they had. They also got another roll of the the dice on Frank German, a guy who could be a middle or later inning reliever with a live arm, and adds to your pitching stockpile at A ball or AA.
 

chawson

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Ottavino also figured to be eminently flippable at the deadline, if the projections were accurate and the Sox were indeed out of it. He was a decent bet for the top RHP reliever rental in a thin trade deadline market (also including Soria, Workman, Bradley, Givens, Holland among projected non-contenders), and many of those guys have been hurt. Bloom could likely get a couple 10-20 prospects or better depending on the money, or maybe we just keep him.
 

Rovin Romine

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Ottavino also figured to be eminently flippable at the deadline, if the projections were accurate and the Sox were indeed out of it. He was a decent bet for the top RHP reliever rental in a thin trade deadline market (also including Soria, Workman, Bradley, Givens, Holland among projected non-contenders), and many of those guys have been hurt. Bloom could likely get a couple 10-20 prospects or better depending on the money, or maybe we just keep him.
A lot will depend on whether they sustain their hot start. But given the strength of the lineup, the competence of the starting rotation, the effectiveness of the bullpen, and the organizational depth, I think this is shaping up into a contention year.

If Erod had looked rusty, or Pivetta imploded, or Whitlock seemed out of his depth, or Barnes was having a bad year, or JD looked cooked. . .we'd be having a different conversation maybe.

But thus far all the coin flips seem to be heads, except maybe Dalbec - but he's shown signs of life lately.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I dont recall anyone of that caliber being brought up that way since David Wells and Jimmy Key. Both, coincidentally, with the 80s Blue Jays.
Does Lowe and his kind not count?

Besides that, Chris Sale was brought up that way.
 
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Ottavino also figured to be eminently flippable at the deadline, if the projections were
accurate and the Sox were indeed out of it. He was a decent bet for the top RHP reliever rental in a thin trade deadline market (also including Soria, Workman, Bradley, Givens, Holland among projected non-contenders), and many of those guys have been hurt. Bloom could likely get a couple 10-20 prospects or better depending on the money, or maybe we just keep him.
I think they absolutely need to keep him.
 

BaseballJones

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Whitlock so far: 13.1 ip, 6 h, 0 r, 0 er, 2 bb, 18 k, 0.00 era, 0.60 whip, 12.2 k/9

Not bad at all. :)
 

Tuff Ghost

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One of the most impressive things about Whitlock is the velocity difference on his sinker versus changeup. He's throwing a 95.2 mph sinker (54.2% of his pitches) and an 82.6 mph changeup (34.2%). The 12.6 mph difference is really impressive and far from typical.

For comparison, he supposedly learned the changeup from Andriese, who throws a 92.4 mph 4-seam fastball with his 86.1 mph changeup (6.3 mph difference).

Whitlock gets 94% active spin (the spin rate that contributes to movement) on his changeup, resulting in 18.3" of total movement. Andriese gets 24% active spin on his changeup, resulting in 5" of total movement.
 

ramfan

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This is why I spend an embarrassing amount of time casually wondering when we’ll find out what prospects Chaim is choosing to complete his trade of an expensive .190 hitter.
i've done the same thing without any luck. i'd have never guessed i'd be excited to find out about a player to be named later. 3 players in this case.
 

nvalvo

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This is why I spend an embarrassing amount of time casually wondering when we’ll find out what prospects Chaim is choosing to complete his trade of an expensive .190 hitter.
If I understood him right when I heard him interviewed in Spring Training, I think he said that the deadline was one month after the low minors start. There's probably a pre-agreed list of players, but Boston gets to scout everybody before they pick from it.

But Benintendi's had a good week, and may be coming out of this long slump. He's raised his OPS about 100 points. edit: (To be clear, I think the trade was a good move whatever Benintendi does going forward. We couldn't afford the risk that he fall flat again and we suddenly had a totally valueless asset on our hands.)
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If I understood him right when I heard him interviewed in Spring Training, I think he said that the deadline was one month after the low minors start. There's probably a pre-agreed list of players, but Boston gets to scout everybody before they pick from it.

But Benintendi's had a good week, and may be coming out of this long slump. He's raised his OPS about 100 points. edit: (To be clear, I think the trade was a good move whatever Benintendi does going forward. We couldn't afford the risk that he fall flat again and we suddenly had a totally valueless asset on our hands.)
Does Franchy have options? Seems like he's a guy that could use- and improve with- consistent PA's rather than sitting..
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Does Franchy have options? Seems like he's a guy that could use- and improve with- consistent PA's rather than sitting..
He does. But it's not like the alternatives they can bring up are going to be any better. Marcus Wilson and Michael Chavis are the guys on the 40-man with OF experience, though it's Cesar Puello who's traveling with the team on the taxi squad so presumably he's in the mix as well.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Does Franchy have options? Seems like he's a guy that could use- and improve with- consistent PA's rather than sitting..
There's been no AAA games for Franchy to get any playing time in. Worcester starts on May 4th, he'll probably be down there by then or soon after.
 

joe dokes

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He does. But it's not like the alternatives they can bring up are going to be any better. Marcus Wilson and Michael Chavis are the guys on the 40-man with OF experience, though it's Cesar Puello who's traveling with the team on the taxi squad so presumably he's in the mix as well.
Does Santana (not yet on the roster) count as a possibility?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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He does. But it's not like the alternatives they can bring up are going to be any better. Marcus Wilson and Michael Chavis are the guys on the 40-man with OF experience, though it's Cesar Puello who's traveling with the team on the taxi squad so presumably he's in the mix as well.
It's not the "alternatives" to add to the 25 man club that I'm interested in as much as his development. I do think Chavis was dumped on a little too soon but he likely isn't going to be hurt by mostly sitting on the bench with the ML team. I think Franchy has tons of potential (way more than Chavis) and would rather just see him getting action rather than sitting.
 

LogansDad

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Man, the videos from close behind him on those batting cage pitches are awesome. It blows my mind that human beings are able to hit the pitches these guys throw.