Boston Red Sox: Christian Vazquez on Garrett Whitlock’s Changeup, the Rookie Credits Matt Andriese


Christian Vazquez really likes catching Garrett Whitlock.  Boston’s No. 1 catcher had some high praise for the rookie recently. 

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"He's going to help us big-time,” said Vazquez.  Which has been a mere understatement.  Whitlock has been dominant for Boston in 11 ⅓ scoreless innings over five outings.

On Saturday against the Mariners, Whitlock ran his string of consecutive batters retired to 25 straight until Sam Haggerty broke up the streak with two outs in the sixth.

The last Red Sox pitcher to retire 25 straight was Chris Sale back in 2019. 

“He doesn’t shy away from the strike zone and he has great stuff,” said Manager Alex Cora.  Whitlock’s “stuff” hasn’t gone unnoticed by his teammates. 

Vazquez has taken notice of Whitlock’s pitches including his changeup.  On the radio broadcast on Friday night, Red Sox broadcaster Will Flemming said Vazquez thinks Whitlock has the best changeup on the team. 

Whitlock has improved his changeup thanks to the help of Matt Andriese.  The two worked on his changeup after having a conversation while playing catch during Spring Training. 

“In spring training, him being a Rule 5 guy, you're soaking it all in," Andriese told  "Trying to learn.  Trying to get your feet wet.  Trying to make the team.  I noticed from Day 1 his stuff was really good.  I started playing catch with him probably two or three times every five days.  We kind of had similar schedules, so I started playing catch with him and I was just talking to him about his changeup.”

Whitlock has been throwing that changeup with confidence ever since, thanks to Andriese. 

“This game is all about confidence, so the more confidence you can give to somebody who is trying to get their feet with the comfortable they are going to be and the more success they are going to have,” said Andriese. 

With some minor changes thanks to the helpful eye of Andriese, Whitlock began to hold the changeup differently.  The two would focus on how Whitlock was gripping the baseball. 

The grip he was referring to was that of a simple circle-changeup, which Whitlock had been throwing since college. 

In addition to the grip, the two focused on his arm-speed and his confidence in throwing the pitch.  Whitlock offers a well above average fastball and now a devastating changeup. 

Whitlock’s willingness to learn and soak up everything has earned him the respect from the clubhouse.  The veteran Andriese could have kept to himself, instead he helped a younger player. 

“I've bounced around with different organizations through trades and stuff like that and been in the big leagues for some time now.  I felt like a guy like Garrett, who is a Rule 5 pick, he was soaking in all the information he could get,” said Andriese. 

“I really clicked with him.  He's a hard-working kid.  A great guy.  Wants to be the best he possibly can be,” added the veteran right-hander. 

Each time Whitlock takes the mound he looks confident.  As he continues to stretch out and pitch more, it’ll be interesting to see him throw his new and improved changeup.  Whether or not he becomes a starter this season, in the meantime Boston has a young legit weapon out for the bullpen. 

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Boston Red Sox: Christian Vazquez on Garrett Whitlock’s Changeup, the Rookie Credits Matt Andriese
Boston Red Sox: Christian Vazquez on Garrett Whitlock’s Changeup, the Rookie Credits Matt Andriese
Boston Sports Syndicate
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