Rick Porcello To Make First Spring Start Friday
The 2016 American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello will make his first Grapefruit League start for the Red Sox on Friday against the Atlanta Braves. Porcello is also currently lined up to take the ball on Opening Day for Boston on his normal five-day routine.
Porcello has been hard at work down at Fenway South in Fort Myers and has been seen working with his new rotation mate Chris Sale trying to ensure as smooth of a first-year transition as possible. Porcello certainly had his share of year-one Boston struggles as did left-hander David Price last season, so the two are doing all that they can to make Sale fit right in and help the Sox win ballgames in 2017.
Back to Porcello, he threw a simulated game on Sunday morning where he went two innings allowing two hits, walked one and struck out three over 37 pitches, 23 of which for strikes. Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald noted that fellow starters David Price and Eduardo Rodriguez took the time to be there on Sunday morning and observe the Cy Young Award winner at work on the hill.
Mastrodonato also noted that Porcello’s priority at this point in Spring Training is commanding his fastball. “I’m mainly looking to execute sinkers to both sides of the plate and get comfortable out of the windup and the stretch. I threw a couple of four-seamers and curveballs, a couple changeups. But the priority is just executing the fastball right now.” Porcello told the Herald.
The 28-year-old right-hander is smack-dab in the middle of his prime and proved a season ago why the decision to ink Porcello to a four-year extension for over $20 million per season was best for business. After going 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA over 223 innings with a league-leading 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio, Porcello has certainly set the bar high for himself in 2017. However, there aren’t many who put in more time and effort to perfecting their craft and Porcello will prove that last year wasn’t just a blip on the radar of his career.
Porcello even skipped out on the World Baseball Classic after being offered a spot on Team USA to focus on getting ready for the season with the Red Sox. The dedication from the right-hander in preparation for the season and to the organization will surely emulate to his teammates.
I’m looking forward to watching Rick Porcello pitch this spring and then take the ball on Opening Day for the Red Sox in their super rotation.
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