More pitching reinforcements are on the way for the Red Sox.
According to The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham, pitcher Tanner Houck is expected to start for Boston on Monday night when the Sox open a series on the road against the Houston Astros.
It will be Houck’s first appearance in the big leagues since June 16, with the 27-year-old righty sidelined for two months after suffering a facial fracture during a game against the Yankees.
With Houck on the mound, Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka blasted a line drive back at the Sox starter — striking him in the face. Even though Houck walked off the field under his own power, testing confirmed the fracture.
He underwent surgery to get a metal plate inserted into his face on June 27, and has slowly made his way back to the mound over the last month. After adhering to a liquid diet for close to three weeks, Houck started a throwing program during the second week of July.
Houck began his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Worcester Red Sox in early August. In two outings with the WooSox, Houck posted a 3.86 ERA over 4.2 innings of work with six strikeouts. He is expected to make another appearance with Worcester on Wednesday before getting the call back up to Boston.
Houck has made 13 starts with Boston this season, posting a 3-6 record with a 5.05 ERA.
Despite his uneven performance this season, Houck’s return should further reinforce a Red Sox pitching staff that has had to opt for multiple bullpen-heavy games throughout the summer due to injuries.
Last week, Chris Sale was activated from the 60-day IL on Friday night against the Tigers. In his first start since June 1, the southpaw went 4.2 innings and allowed one hit and two runs while striking out seven.
Just two days later, Garrett Whitlock was activated from the IL after missing over a month of action due to right elbow inflammation. After lackluster returns as a starter, Whitlock has been reverted back into a multi-inning reliever for Boston’s 2023 stretch run.
The righty tossed two scoreless innings and struck out three in the Red Sox’ 6-3 win over the Tigers on Sunday.
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