Boston Red Sox Report Cards: Right-handed pitcher Rick Porcello

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 03: Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 3, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 03: Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 3, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The BoSox Injection report card series continues as we look at Boston Red Sox right-handed pitcher Rick Porcello’s 2018 season.

Rick Porcello had a pretty good season  for the Boston Red Sox. He had a great 2016 season, winning the Cy Young Award. In 2017, Porcello didn’t have a great season with a record of 11-17 with a 4.65 ERA.

But the 2018 season was different for not just Porcello but for everyone. The culture had changed with bringing in Alex Cora and the communication had gotten better. Porcello had a sense of confidence from spring training all the way through the playoffs. The pitcher had finished the season going 17-7 with a 4.28 ERA. He also had nine more strikeouts, from 181 last season to 190 this season.

In the first half of the 2018 season, Porcello went 11-4 with a 4.13 ERA. In 120 innings pitched in the first half, he had 115 strikeouts. He also only gave up 14 home runs. In the second half of the season, he went 6-3 with a 4.54 ERA. In 71.1 innings pitched Porcello finished with 75 strikeouts and only gave up 13 home runs.

Against the division rival New York Yankees, Porcello went 2-0 this season with a 2.31 ERA. In 23 innings pitched against New York this season, Porcello finished with 20 strikeouts and only gave up one home run.

Porcello also has a favorite catcher to throw to in Sandy Leon. Porcello threw to Leon in 186 innings in 2018. Porcello had 189 strikeouts when Leon caught for him and only gave up 27 home runs. Porcello also called Leon the best catcher he’s thrown too during the season.

His velocity this season was the highest it’s ever been. This year his exit velocity was 88.5. In 2017 it was 87.9. Whatever went wrong mechanically for Porcello in 2017 he made adjustments and pitched better in 2018.


Porcello was great in the postseason. Honestly, that whole pitching staff was great. He pitched in the ALCS and the World Series. In the ALCS, he pitched five innings, striking out five batters and only giving up two home runs. His ERA was very high at 7.20 his WHIP was 1.600. In the World Series, his 1.93 ERA was much better. He pitched 4.2 innings, striking out five in Game 3 of the World Series when it went 18 innings. Nathan Eovaldi pitched the game of his life and it made Porcello cry afterward.

Porcello and the whole pitching staff came together in the postseason along with the team. Porcello was determined to pitch well in October. He was sick of people saying that he couldn’t win in October along with David Price. However, they both changed that narrative and now are World Champions.


A. . Pitcher. . Rick Porcello

Porcello gets an A for fixing what went wrong in 2017 and improving for 2018. Alex Cora gets credit too. He made sure to start Leon when Porcello pitched and it paid off. Leon would send the signs and Porcello delivered most of the time to strike the batter out. He beat all odds saying that the 2016 Cy Young was a fluke and he’d never be the pitcher he was. Well, his velocity went up which is the highest in his career. He also won more games than in 2017 and had better communication with his manager.

He also was a great teammate. Being supportive of Eovaldi after Game 3 of the World Series really sent a message to the team. Even though they lost the game, they didn’t stop fighting. Porcello, like his teammates, believed in each other. Cora sent a message in spring training that they were all one big family. Cora also helped Porcello find himself as a pitcher to be the one he was in 2016.  Porcello can hold his head up high as a World Champion and be successful for many years to come.

Next. When are 2018 MLB season awards announced?. dark

Looking ahead to 2019

The projection for the 30-year old for 2019 is pretty good. I predict Porcello will go 13-9 with a 4.19 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and record 165 strikeouts in 176 innings and only give up 25 home runs. That might prove that the 2017 season was a fluke and he just had a bad year. Having two good years back-to-back will prove that he’s like the 2016 pitcher.