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Red Sox shut down Garrett Whitlock with right elbow soreness

BOSTON -- After a strong rehab start earlier this week, it looked like Garrett Whitlock was set to return to the Red Sox rotation. Instead, the team has shut down the right-hander indefinitely due to right elbow soreness.

Boston manager Alex Cora delivered the bad news ahead of Boston's series opener against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Friday night, saying the decision was made after Whitlock felt soreness around his elbow on Thursday. The team expected some soreness following his rehab outing on Wednesday, but Cora said Whitlock was dealing with more than just the standard soreness a pitcher feels after making a start.

"We're gonna shut him down for now, see what's going on this weekend and we'll know more on Monday," Cora said from Busch Stadium.

Whitlock initially landed on the injured list on April 17 with a left oblique strain. He made a rehab start for the Worcester Red Sox on Wednesday, surrendering just two hits and walking one while striking out five over 4.2 innings. He threw 40 of his 61 pitches for strikes, and looked poised for a return to the Boston rotation.

The Red Sox had planned to reinstate Whitlock during their current six-game road trip, but that will not be happening now. And any injury with Whitlock's elbow is concerning, given the 27-year-old's injury history. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019 while with the New York Yankees, and then went on the IL with two elbow ailments last season with Boston.

Whitlock made four starts for the Red Sox this season before landing on the injured list, going 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA and 1.145 WHIP.

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