Since he came to the Red Sox in 2015, I have written several pieces about Rick Porcello. Some were a bit negative- I called him a “de-facto ace” and the “the $ 20 million man”. I also wrote that he was throwing too many good pitches. His 2015 slash reflects it- 9-15/4.92/1.360 while allowing 25 homers, the most in his career.
By early 2016, I was expressing the hope that with the coming of David Price, some of the pressure would be taken off and he might be a reliable third starter. By midseason, as he exploded into all-star status, I was calling him a “pleasant surprise.” It turned out to be a gross understatement, as he achieved a Cy Young Award and led the Sox to a division title. His slash was 22-4/3.15/1.009.
The Globe’s Nick Cafardo said it all in an article on the occasion of his Comeback Player of the Year selection. “Porcello is the only pitcher to record at least 25 starts in each of his last 8 seasons…his 22 victories were most by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez went 23-4 in 1999. (He) led the majors with a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the seventh highest by a Sox pitcher in the last 100 years” Cafardo also mentions his top-10 performances in quality starts, WHIP, complete games,innings pitched, ERA, and strikeouts. His steak of throwing at least 5 innings in his last 41 starts rivaled such Sox hurlers as Curt Schilling, Luis Tiant, and Babe Ruth
The most important of these would seem to be the 5.91 SWR, far beyond anything the New Jersey native had ever accomplished. Despite allowing 23 homers, it did not particularly hurt him ,since much fewer batters reached base.
Porcello is still in the news. A piece by the Herald’s Evan Drellich projects him third in the 2017 rotation behind Chris Sale and Price. It would seem to give the Sox one of baseball’s foremost starting staffs.