Red Sox starter Garrett Whitlock is progressing well in the late stages of his rehab from his September hip surgery but is not on track to be ready for Opening Day, Manager Alex Cora told reporters.

Whitlock is likely to miss just one or two turns through the rotation and will likely begin the year on a minor league rehab assignment.

Whitlock underwent arthroscopic surgery on his hip on Sept. 26 and entered camp a bit behind the rest of Boston’s starters. He suffered no setbacks and made his first spring appearance until Wednesday. He has now seen action in two spring games, tossing five scoreless innings while striking out six batters while allowing two unearned runs.

Whitlock’s next outing will likely be a four-inning start Saturday. He’ll then be lined up to throw back-to-back five-inning outings, likely at Fenway South or in the minors before being activated in early April.

“We’re not going to cut corners on this,” Cora told reporters. “There’s no rush here. We’ve just got to be patient. Last year, I think we rushed into a few situations and it put us in a bad spot. We learned from it and we’re not going to make the same mistakes.”

The Red Sox will enter the season with three starters – Whitlock, Brayan Bello and James Paxton – on the injured list. Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, Tanner Houck and Nick Pivetta are locked into spots with Kutter Crawford and Josh Winckowski serving as options to replace Whitlock until he’s ready to return.


The Red Sox have two off days in the first nine days of the regular season, so the club won’t need to employ a fifth starter until April 13, the finale of a four-game set against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

CHRIS SALE’S early struggles put the Red Sox in a hole in Boston’s 6-2 loss to the Orioles at Sarasota, Florida.

Over five innings, Sale allowed six earned runs on nine hits, walked one and struck out two.

All six runs came in the first three innings, including a pair of first-inning solo homers for Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle. He threw 70 pitches and calmed down late, with his last two innings scoreless.

Sale will make one more spring training start and is slated to start the second game of the regular season on April 1 against Baltimore.

TRISTON CASAS was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup with “left fifth finger pain,” according to the team. He is considered day-to-day.


Casas was originally set to play first base and bat cleanup for the Red Sox against the Orioles in Sarasota on Tuesday. Instead, non-roster invitee Daniel Palka got the start behind lefty Chris Sale.

Casas’ issue is believed to be minor. The rookie has hit .342 (14 for 46) with two homers, three doubles and a .952 OPS in 15 spring training games. He has been one of Boston’s most consistent offensive producers ahead of Opening Day, when he will take over as the club’s full-time first baseman.

LEFTY RELIEVER Joely Rodriguez has a grade two strain of his right oblique, Cora said.

Rodriguez left Saturday’s Grapefruit League game against the Orioles with what the team then described as “right torso pain.” He signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Red Sox in November.

Cora named lefty relievers Oddanier Mosqueda and Ryan Sherriff as candidates to replace him on the Opening Day roster.

Both Mosqueda and Sherriff were non-roster invitees to big league spring training camp.


Sherriff signed a minor league contract in January. The 32-year-old has made 44 career major league appearances, posting a 3.65 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in 5 ⅔ innings in Grapefruit League action this spring. He has given up one unearned run, four hits and no walks while striking out seven.

Mosqueda, who pitched for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs in 2022, has allowed one run, five hits and three walks while striking out seven in 5 ⅓ innings of Grapefruit League play.

JUSTIN TURNER returned Monday, going 1 for 2 with a walk and run as the designated hitter against the Pirates.

Turner hadn’t appeared in a spring training game since being hit in the face with a pitch March 6. The DH/first baseman’s scans came back clean and he did not suffer any fractures but he received 16 stitches.

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