It’s now or never for the Boston Red Sox to make a push for an AL Wild Card spot but another injury could be costly for their potential playoff run.
While the Boston Red Sox at many points in the 2022 season have not done themselves any favors, the truth of the matter is that injuries have hurt them just as much. Whether it’s been the multi-layered saga of Chris Sale, or anyone among Garrett Whitlock, Michael Wacha, Kiké Hernandez, Rafael Devers or a number of others missing time or going on the IL.
But despite all of this, Boston‘s series win over the Yankees last weekend still has them only five games back of an AL Wild Card spot in the expanded playoffs. That’s not an insurmountable deficit to overcome but they need the right pieces to fall into place combined with their performance to do the same for that to happen.
Unfortunately, there is another round of injury news regarding this team that could make that much more difficult and it pertains to Tanner Houck.
Red Sox: Tanner Houck injury update raises concerns for playoff push
Houck was placed on the 15-day IL with “lower back inflammation” over the weekend but Alex Speier of The Boston Globe painted a potentially much more bleak picture with an update on his status.
According to his report, Houck is dealing with a disc issue in his back and is going to see a specialist in Boston. Manager Alex Cora said that how the testing there goes will be key to “determine his availability moving forward this year.”
That sounds extremely ominous in that there is a chance Houck doesn’t pitch again for the Red Sox this season.
Vaccination status aside, Houck had been one of the most consistent options in the team’s unreliable bullpen this season alongside Whitlock. He took up the closer role for quite a while and performed well in that capacity. Whitlock has since taken over that role upon his return from his own injury and with Houck being banged up.
Without Houck available, though, things could be quite dire for the Red Sox bullpen as they would have a shockingly little amount of faith in anyone not named Whitlock or John Schreiber running out of right field at Fenway Park.
We’ll have to see what the tests show about Houck’s back, but this is definitely enough to give fans a reason to hold their breath as they hope this team makes one last push for a spot in the postseason.