Rafael Devers dodges injury, but Red Sox get bad news on Garrett Whitlock

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Rafael Devers was back in the lineup Wednesday, but Boston’s starting rotation took yet another hit due to the injury bug.

Garrett Whitlock pitches against the Cleveland Guardians during the first inning at Fenway Park on April 16, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

The good news for the Red Sox? Rafael Devers was back in the lineup Wednesday despite suffering an injury scare the previous night. 

The bad news? Boston’s starting rotation took yet another hit due to the injury bug.

Speaking ahead of Boston’s matchup against the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday, manager Alex Cora announced that righty Garrett Whitlock is heading to the 15-day injured list due to a left oblique strain. The 27-year-old starter exited Tuesday’s eventual loss to Cleveland after throwing just 54 pitches over four innings of work.

“The hope is for him to be back as soon as possible,” Cora said, per NESN’s Greg Dudek. “We just got to be smart.”

Injuries plagued Whitlock last season, with the talented pitcher landing on the IL three separate times during the 2023 campaign. Given that his current ailment is only viewed as a “slight” strain according to Cora, Whitlock initially wanted to try and pitch through this injury.

“This one (is) not difficult,” Cora said. “Actually, he kind of fight it because of that. I was like, ‘You don’t have to prove to people you can stay healthy because it’s on us.’ We’re actually taking it away from his hands. It’s early enough that it doesn’t make sense to push him then something worse might happen.”

Whitlock was off to a strong start this season, going 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA and 1.145 WHIP in 18.1 innings of work. 

The Red Sox have already lost righty Lucas Giolito for the entire season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn UCL during spring training, while Nick Pivetta was placed on the 15-day IL last week due to a right elbow flexor strain. 

As for Devers, Cora said that the star third baseman only suffered a scare after leaving Tuesday’s game in the eighth inning due to knee discomfort. 

“They tested him yesterday and he said he felt it on that (fielding) play, so they checked on him,” Cora said, per Dudek. “This morning he texted (head athletic trainer) Brandon (Henry), ‘I’m good to go.’ We’re checking on him and everything. It sounds bad, he just got scared. Hopefully that’s the case. We’ll take care of him.”

Devers was the designated hitter for Boston’s game against Cleveland on Wednesday, with the 27-year-old looking to get back on track after batting just .205 to start the new season. 

“If he says he can play, he can play,” Cora said of Devers. “The imaging was in case he needed something, just to make sure where we were, but he doesn’t need it. He’s good to go.”

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