CLEVELAND — The Red Sox were hoping to activate Garrett Whitlock from the injured list on Monday and start him against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
That plan was scrapped on Friday when Whitlock was unable to throw in the bullpen because of continued soreness in his right hip.
“He wasn’t feeling good. Not moving well,” manager Alex Cora said before Friday night’s 6-3 win over the Guardians. “It’s not that he took steps back, but he didn’t recover the way we wanted him to. We just have to be patient.”
Cora said the expectation is that Whitlock will not pitch on the road trip, which runs through July 3. The righthander last appeared in a game on June 7.
“You have good days and you have bad days,” Whitlock said. “You literally have to take it one day at a time. This [injury] is different because it’s not something you feel throwing.
“But you have to be careful because an injury in your lower body can cause you to alter your mechanics and then you’re dealing with something else.”
The more immediate issue is that the Sox need a starter for the first game of an important series.
One option appears to be Triple A righthander Connor Seabold. His start on Friday against Charlotte at Polar Park was limited to one inning and 21 pitches.
“We’re talking about it,” Cora said.
Seabold is 5-1 with 2.09 earned run average in 11 starts for the WooSox. He made his major league debut last season, starting one game.
A bullpen day is possible. But that would be more difficult with closer Tanner Houck set to go on the restricted list on Monday because he remains unvaccinated and cannot travel to Toronto.
Righthander Kutter Crawford, who has made two starts for the major league team, could have been an option. But he, too, isn’t vaccinated.
Chris Sale is scheduled to pitch two or three innings for the Florida Complex League Sox at 10 a.m. Saturday against the Twins at JetBlue Park. His pitch count will determine the length of the outing.
Sale pitched one inning for the FCL Sox on Monday. His third start could be for Double A Portland next week.
Nate Eovaldi, who has been on the injured list since June 9 with lower back inflammation, is feeling better and will start playing catch this weekend.
Matt Barnes threw in the bullpen in Florida on Wednesday according to Cora. He’s recovering from shoulder soreness.
Kiké Hernández, who has a hip flexor strain, is “feeling better but not great” per Cora. He has not yet started baseball activities and remained in Boston.
Take some time
Xander Bogaerts was out of the lineup for the first time since Game 2 of a doubleheader on June 10. With the team off Thursday, Cora wanted to put two days in a row together … Rookie Josh Winckowski is set to face Shane Bieber on Saturday. The 23-year-old righthander allowed two earned runs over 11 2/3 innings in his last two starts. “We feel like the kids who we call up come up here and compete,” Cora said. “He’s using the cutter and understanding the changeup has to be part of the repertoire every night.” Winckowski is a groundball pitcher, something the Sox are more comfortable with this season with their improved infield defense … Cora took the lineup card to home plate before the game and hugged Guardians bench coach DeMarlo Hale, a Red Sox coach from 2006-11. Cora played with the Sox from 2005-08 and got to know Hale well.