Boston Red Sox need to leave Tanner Houck in rotation

Aug 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox stating pitcher Tanner Houck (89) delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox stating pitcher Tanner Houck (89) delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Boston Red Sox just cannot leave Tanner Houck alone. While he is clearly better than several members of the rotation, he has continued to ride the bus between Boston and Worcester, as he likely wonders what he needs to do in order to stay in the majors.

That continued on Saturday. After being optioned back to Worcester at the end of July, he was brought back as the 27th man for their doubleheader against the Blue Jays. Once those games were over, Houck was right back on the bus, heading right back to the minors.

Time for Boston Red Sox to give Tanner Houck his spot

As it is, the Red Sox rotation will receive a boost in the coming days. Chris Sale is likely to be activated in time for his next start, and would provide the team with the ace they have desperately needed. As Martin Perez has already been removed from the rotation, that is an easy enough change.

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However, it is difficult to justify other members of the rotation remaining for as long as they have this season. While Eduardo Rodriguez has a FIP that is nearly two runs lower than his ERA, the same cannot be said for Garrett Richards. It is long past time that his spot in the rotation has gone to someone else.

That pitcher should be Tanner Houck. After yet another strong outing on Saturday, he has posted a 2.45 ERA and a 1.130 WHiP over his 25.2 innings, striking out 36 batters with seven walks. For a team that is struggling to hold on to a playoff spot, and has seen the Rays surge ahead in the standings, those numbers would certainly work in the rotation.

While it made sense that Houck spent some time in the minors early in the season, that time has clearly passed. The Red Sox need to have their best players in the lineup, and in the pitching staff, if they are going to hold on to a playoff berth. That includes Houck.

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It is time that the Boston Red Sox do what they should have done long ago. Tanner Houck needs to return to the majors as soon as he can.