Red Sox Versatile Pitcher To Serve As Starter During Spring Training

Boston Red Sox pitcher Tanner Houck will be developed as a starter during spring training, but may move to a multi-inning bullpen role, according to manager Alex Cora.

Houck had back surgery last September but is a "full-go" for spring training. He has enjoyed success as both a starter and reliever, with a 3.22 ERA in 20 career starts and a 2.68 ERA in 33 relief appearances.

Cora plans to use Houck for as many innings as possible and will determine his role based on his physical health. Houck said he has cleaned up his delivery and feels more comfortable throwing his splitter, his third pitch mostly used against left-handed hitters.The twenty-six-year-old is among seven pitchers competing for the five-man rotation in the Red Sox's upcoming season.

While he has expressed his love for starting, he also acknowledges that he wants to help the team win in any way possible, indicating his willingness to move to a bullpen role if necessary.

Houck began last season as a starter, but ended up missing time due to various reasons. When he returned, he lost his role in the Red Sox' rotation and ended up serving as a long reliever and, later, as the team's closer.

As a result, he has valuable versatility for the Red Sox and it will be intriguing to see how he is utilized this coming season. Photo Credit:  Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports