By: Andrew Parker
As they entered August, the 2019 Boston Red Sox have had the best offense in all of baseball. They lead the entire league in runs, hits, doubles, runs batted in, and batting average. They are seeing this type of offensive production all while being ranked in the bottom 10 of the league in almost every pitching statistic. Due to the woes of the pitching rotation, they are currently sitting outside a playoff spot and losing ground on the New York Yankees as they get further along into the remainder of the season. The Red Sox bullpen has been severely struggling as of late and something will need to change if the Red Sox want to make the postseason.
That is where 2017 first-round pick Tanner Houck comes into play. Houck has been a lifelong starter throughout college and early on in his career with the Red Sox organization. After being promoted to AAA Pawtucket, the Red Sox transitioned him to the bullpen with the hopes that he could be the missing link they are looking for. With no trade at the deadline to help bolster the bullpen, it seems as if they are banking on Houck to be the supporting piece that they desperately need. The results so far seem pretty promising.
Houck has started throwing a wipe out slider that is looking unhittable at times and would be able to get hitters out at the next level. The Red Sox can no longer keep turning to guys like Colten Brewer, Heath Hembree, and Ryan Weber every single night. All of them have consistently struggled and possess earned run averages above 4.00. Houck has had some trouble with his command at times, but the stuff is there, and he has the tools to be a successful pitcher at the next level.
The word around the Red Sox brass is that Houck will only be in Pawtucket short term if all goes well, as he is next in line to get the call for bullpen relief in the next two to three weeks. If Nathan Eovaldi can find his groove again, a bullpen with Darwinzon Hernandez, Eovalidi, and Houck will be one that should excite Red Sox fans.
Cover Photo via: WEEI
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