What to do with Tanner Houck
Tanner Houck may be the biggest enigma for the Boston Red Sox.
There is no questioning his talent. He has a slider reminiscent of the one that Chris Sale throws, paired with two different fastballs and a splitter. In fact, he resembles a right handed version of Sale, leading to the hope that he can be a future ace.
The problem is that the Red Sox do not seem to know what to do with him. He had 18 appearances last season, making 13 starts, but also spent time riding the interstate between Boston and Worcester. Houck also ended up in the bullpen due to the Red Sox issues with their relief corps, a setting where his slider and two seam fastball can make a major impact.
But this is the issue for the Red Sox. Houck could be an impact starter or he could be a high leverage reliever. There are needs in both areas. The occasional command issues and his need to continue to develop the splitter could lead to a path as a reliever, but the Red Sox need to commit to taking him on a specific path.
The Boston Red Sox have a weapon in Tanner Houck. They just need to figure out how to deploy him going forward.