The BoSox Injection staff came together to answer five pressing questions facing the Boston Red Sox entering the 2017 season.
The Boston Red Sox have arguably the American League’s best roster entering the upcoming season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t questions facing this team.
There are quite a few unknowns that the Red Sox will need to sort out over the next six weeks of spring training down in Fort Myers. I asked our BoSox Injection staff about a few of these questions and received some compelling predictions.
Let’s start with one that has the most significant impact on getting the season started on a good note when the Red Sox host the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 3 at Fenway Park.
Which starting pitcher takes the mound for Opening Day?
Sean Penney: While David Price and Chris Sale come with stronger track records, Rick Porcello deserves the honor coming off of his Cy Young campaign. He’s also the longest tenured Red Sox pitcher of the Big Three and has the support of his fellow aces. All three will pitch in the opening series against Pittsburgh, so which order to align them in only matters once the postseason rolls around. Give the Opening Day nod to the guy that earned it last year.
Daniel Cassese: All three of the ‘aces’ are worthy of consideration. If I’m choosing one guy to take the ball, though, it has to be Porcello. Apart from the ceremony, there’s nothing that differentiates game one from game ninety-six. John Farrell will have plenty of opportunities to reshuffle his rotation after the inevitable rain-outs, spot-starts, and injuries that interrupt its regular order, so don’t worry about Sale or Price missing a start down the line.
Rick McNair: Who won the Cy Young Award in 2016? Who had an outstanding record at Fenway Park in 2016? That settles it for at least the first game, although the second game is Rick Porcello Bobblehead day.
David Spampinato: Porcello. If you won the Cy Young, you deserve the Opening Day nod.
Mike El-Far: Porcello is the most deserving candidate, coming off winning the Cy Young Award. Sale is the most talented pitcher the Red Sox have had since Pedro Martinez, and many could argue that he will be the starter on Opening Day. But the man who will toe the rubber on April 3 is none other than David Price. The Red Sox will try and boost his confidence after a disappointing 2016 campaign, and it starts in game one.
Chris Embree: Sale, and there’s no doubt in my mind. You want your best pitcher to start the most amount of games and the one way to do that is by starting them on Opening Day. I know Porcello just won the Cy Young, and Price is the highest paid pitcher, but I think Sale is definitely the best pitcher. Look at it this way, with the season on the line who do you want on the mound? If it were me, I’d take Sale every time.