Red Sox

Two years later, Porcello lone man standing from 'five aces' fiasco

Two years later, Porcello lone man standing from 'five aces' fiasco

Let’s go down the list.

Wade Miley, gone.

Justin Masterson, gone.

Joe Kelly, bullpen.

And, most recently, Clay Buchholz, gone.

That leaves one man standing from the “five aces” nonsense from 2015 Red Sox spring training. Now that pitcher, Rick Porcello, is coming off a Cy Young Award-winning season and could possibly be the Red Sox Opening Day starter over Chris Sale and David Price.

“No one’s said anything to us,” Sale said. “If I had to pick -- my opinion means absolutely nothing -- I think outta respect you gotta go with Porcello.”

“He was the best pitcher in the league last year, how do you deny that? Whichever way it falls it doesn’t matter. We’re all here for the same goal, and that’s winning ball games.”

Sale raises a good point. Porcello earned that title to start the year, over every pitcher in the league. Sale didn’t win the Cy Young, neither did Price. If one of them outdoes Porcello during the season, they’ll start the first playoff game or get the nod next year.

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But Sale’s not so quick to assume Porcello can’t repeat what he did in 2016 (22-4, 3.15 ERA). 

“Absolutely,” Sale said when asked if he previously thought Porcello had this level of potential. “I think if you watched him pitch throughout his career, he got to the big leagues really quick. He was really young and did really well.”

“He’s always had a really good arm and the sinker is always gonna play. He put it together really well and it was incredible.”

But Porcello’s not entering the season trying to do more than he already has. That mindset could cause more harm than good.

“I don’t think [my expectations change],” Porcello said. “My expectations have always remained consistent, regardless of what season I had prior to that. I’m thinking about the same sort of things, going out there and being a quality pitcher every fifth day and giving us a chance to win.

“Hopefully that leads to a championship for us.”

While his mindset remains the same, his physical approach should change still, right? Given he pitched a career-high 223 innings (plus a playoff start), eclipsing the 200 mark for only the second time in his career, there might be something different.

“No, actually, really. Took my normal two weeks off and then started things back in the gym,” Porcello said. “That’s kind of the most important part. After throwing 223 innings, I noticed that I was definitely more worn down than I would have been prior to that.

“So you’ve gotta do even more to build that back up to prepare for the next season. All that’s been the same, and if not, just doing some more so that I can handle that workload again hopefully.”

Now Porcello’s tasted success, earning the highest honor a pitcher can. Now he has not one, but two left-handed Cy Young-caliber arms working alongside him.

Does he think he should start Opening Day?

“That’s not a decision for me to make, you know that,” Porcello said with a big smile.

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.