Jul 8, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcherRick Porcello
(22) reacts after giving up a run against the Miami Marlins during the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
#1 – Rick Porcello
You want disappointment? Here’s the king, himself.
Out of all the moves Cherington made, the Porcello acquisition has worked out the worst, so far. The six-foot-five, 26-year-old veteran was the only person whom the Detroit Tigers parted with in return for RBI-machine Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson, and a minor league player. That seems like a ton of assets for a starting pitcher who posted a 15-13 record in 2014.
Porcello’s saving grace before dawning the Red Sox uniform was that he had three shutouts and pitched over 200 innings last year.
This season, after receiving a brand-spanking-new contract for four years and $82.5 million with the Red Sox, Porcello has responded with a 5-10 record, the worst record for any regular MLB starter. He also leads the majors in allowing 68 earned runs in 105.2 innings.
Porcello just can’t find any consistency. He can light up batters, striking out 84 of them, and they also can light him up, bashing 18 home runs so far. Porcello has allowed a .284 opposing batting average and has lost too many games in one inning of torture on an otherwise decent outing.
Meanwhile, Cespedes, the main asset given up for this angel of doom, has hit 14 home runs and 54 RBIs this season. The closest Red Sox player to that production is Hanley Ramirez with 19 home runs and 46 RBIs. While Cespedes has hit a slash line of .289/.319/.486, Ramirez has hit .262/.308/.470. Thinking that Ramirez would replace Cespedes in left field has been a joke. Cespedes had a .977 fielding percentage, with two errors, and had highlight-reel throws to the catcher to nail opposing runners at the plate. Ramirez’s fielding percentage is .970 and has three errors while running into the foul wall in Fenway Park and injuring himself, once again.
If anyone is thinking that those numbers are close, just remember one thing: Cespedes is costing the Tigers $10.5 million this season, while Ramirez is costing the Red Sox $22.75 million. Even with Cespedes being a free agent next season, there was no guarantee that Porcello would sign his contract this year with the Red Sox, making the risk fairly even, while the production less than fair.
Overall, the plan to replace veteran pitchers with other veteran pitchers has not worked. In Porcello’s case, it didn’t work and now it will cost the Red Sox another four years for him to figure himself out. That’s time Boston doesn’t have if it wants to compete any time soon.
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