The second half of the Boston Red Sox season is officially underway, and right-handed pitching prospect Tanner Houck appears to be a part of that plan. Just weeks after converting over to the bullpen, the Red Sox promoted Houck to the Pawtucket Red Sox to presumably work out of the bullpen. If everything goes well, Houck will likely join the major league roster for the final stretch of the season. Glenn Joran of the Portland Press Herald first broke the news.
— Glenn Jordan (@GlennJordanPPH) July 13, 2019
Tanner Houck Added to Pawtucket Red Sox Roster
It’s been an interesting year for Houck, who started the year with the Portland Sea Dogs. The ninth-ranked prospect in the system currently owns a 4.25 ERA in 82.2 innings of work, but his underlying numbers tell an encouraging story. The righty has a 3.32 FIP, which implies he’s been the victim of poor batted ball luck. Additionally, he’s maintained a solid 8.71 strikeout rate while walking a tolerable 3.48 batters per nine innings.
Pitching in Portland during April can lead to weird results, as nobody is supposed to pitch when it’s constantly 40 degrees and rainy. Since May 3rd, Houck has pitched to the tune of a 4.45 ERA and a 3.71 FIP. Houck has made two appearances as a reliever so far. During his 1.1 innings of relief work, Houck has allowed six runs on five hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.
Houck initially joined the Red Sox organization as a first-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. Selected with the 24th overall pick, Houck steadily climbed the organizational ranks as the season progressed. While he’s going to work out of the bullpen in 2019, the Red Sox insist that they will still try to develop him as a starter. Basically, the Sox are attempting to use Houck and Darwinzon Hernandez as short-term fixes for the Red Sox bullpen in 2019. Whether this will be enough to lead the Red Sox to consecutive titles is yet to be determined.