Red Sox Closer Undergoes Surgery

He last pitched over a month ago, before going down with a disc issue in his lower back. It was only two weeks ago when Tanner Houck said he was feeling good and hoped to be back by the end of the season. But those hopes were quashed earlier this week, and now he's officially gone under knife.

The Boston Red Sox announced that Houck underwent a successful lumbar discectomy in Boston today. He is expected to be fully healed and ready to go for spring training 2023. 

Houck started his Red Sox career as a promising starter, starting 13 games in his 18 appearances in 2021, posting a 3.52 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and an impressive 87:21 K/BB ratio.

This season, however, he was transitioned to the bullpen, out of need, and he emerged as the Red Sox closer for a period, saving eight games, while posting a 3.15 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. His last two appearances, in fact, before landing on the injured list, resulted in saves. 

He's performed well in Boston as both a starter and a reliever, so at this point, there's no telling what the team's plans are for Houck next season. There's a possibility he could be stretched out to re-join the rotation if the BoSox are able to land a suitable closer in the offseason. Houck only pitched a total of 60 innings this season, though, so that's something to keep an eye on.  

Photo: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports, Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports