Down: Rick Porcello
With Chris Sale and David Price ailing, the Red Sox needed Rick Porcello to step up and lead the rotation. For much of 2018, Porcello has looked more like he did in 2016 when he won the American League Cy Young Award than he did in 2017 when he allowed 38 home runs. However, Porcello has recently begun to fall back on bad trends.
Pretty Ricky made six starts in August and pitched a total of 37 innings. In those 37 innings, batters left the yard a whopping eight times against Porcello. In comparison, Porcello surrendered nine home runs in June and July combined (57.2 innings).
Rick looked better in his first September start, allowing just two hits over five innings. However, one of those hits was another home run, which remains a cause for immense concern. The Red Sox could have a strong playoff rotation if Price and Sale are healthy and Porcello remembers how to keep the ball in the yard. Unfortunately, at the moment, that looks like a big “if” for Porcello, and he doesn’t have much time to right the ship. The Porcello of April, or even the Porcello of June, needs to make a swift reappearance.