Could Garrett Richards have reached the end of his road as a starter for the Boston Red Sox?
Manager Alex Cora told WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria" program Wednesday afternoon that Richards, who hasn't lasted six innings in any of his last 11 starts, will be available out of the bullpen for tonight's contest against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.
Richards, 33, has been mediocre at best all season long for Boston with a 6-7 record and 5.22 earned run average over 22 appearances (all starts). Since a decent showing in the month of May, Richards has gone 2-3 with a 6.97 ERA while opponents hit a robust .338 off the veteran right-hander.
Something has to give in the rotation with Chris Sale due back Saturday.
If Richards remains in a relief role, this will be the second straight season he has shifted toward the bullpen, as his final four regular season appearances for the San Diego Padres in 2020 were also as a reliever. Prior to last season, Richards hadn't pitched out of the 'pen since 2013.
The 22 starts Richards has made for the Red Sox in 2021 are the most he's made since a career-best 32 for the Los Angeles Angels in 2015.