View Full Version : What exactly is Rick Porcello?

04-26-2016, 03:25 PM
What does it mean to describe a pitcher as a No. 2 or No. 3 (or, for that matter, No. 1 or No. 5) starter?

To examine that question, one can divide American League starters into groupings of 15 – with No. 1 starters defined as those whose WAR (as calculated by Fangraphs) fell into the top 15, No. 2 starters defined by those who fell into the 16-30 range, No. 3 starters in the 31-45 grouping, and so on.

For now, based on how American League starters performed in 2015, Porcello has the strikeout and walk numbers of a No. 1, and the innings and ERA of a No. 1 or a No. 2. (Interestingly, showing up to work matters a lot: 12 of the 13 pitchers who reached 200 innings in the AL last year produced WARs that placed them as No. 1 or No. 2 starters.)

Porcello’s home run rate would make it hard for him to finish as anything better than a No. 2 or No. 3 (Masahiro Tanaka’s 1.5 homers per nine innings was the highest allowance of any pitcher who finished the year ranked in the AL’s top 30 by WAR), but if he can get that mark under control and continue to provide solid innings, then he has a very real chance of profiling statistically as one of the top-30 starters in the American League.

Indeed, it’s worth noting that in his last three years with the Tigers, Porcello ranked as a top-30 AL starter in each of them, ranking 16th in the AL in WAR in 2012, 20th in 2013, and 19th in 2014.Speier

04-26-2016, 07:27 PM
If he can continue on this trend he's a really solid #2. For now though, I voted #2-3.

I really like what I've seen from him. Vazquez has obviously been helpful.

04-27-2016, 03:43 PM
I'm back to viewing him as a #2. I think that he's back on the trajectory that he was one when he came to the Sox. Looking at game logs, his run from 8/26/15-Today looks remarkably similar to 2014 when many folks in DET acknowledged that he was the second best pitcher on the staff (admittedly because the rotation suffered a lot of injuries). He clearly tired in 2014, topping 180 innings for the first time in his career (204). His line through 30 of 32 starts was 15-11, 3.19ERA, .260/.296/.388, 197.2IP/122K/36BB

Station 13
04-29-2016, 11:49 AM
Sneaky good right now. You love how he uses all the quadrant of the strikezone. He loves to pitch inside. He just does his job. He's only 27 too.

I believe he is a good #3. Not a #2 without a dominant fastball to get away with mistakes in this division.

04-29-2016, 05:21 PM
The way how he pitches with Vazquez makes him a fringe 2 and a top of the line 3. I like the chemistry him and Vazquez have.

04-30-2016, 08:48 PM
He's pitching like #1

04-30-2016, 10:09 PM
Porcello is now 5-0 with a 2.76 era. Looking very good. If we can get Price going and Eddy back, it should be a solid 1-2-3 (Price-Porcello-ERod)

05-03-2016, 08:04 AM
I went with a 2-3. Cause its been a small sample. But if he keeps this up he is a legit #2

09-20-2016, 03:05 PM
Looks like extending our future Cy Young winner was a great idea...

09-20-2016, 09:46 PM
He has now made 11 consecutive starts in which he’s logged at least seven innings while giving up no more than three earned runs. No other American League pitcher has had a streak of more than six straight starts that featured those elements. The last Red Sox pitcher to have such a run was Pedro Martinez, who likewise reeled off 11 straight outings of those characteristics in his second Sox Cy Young season in 2000. Prior to that, the last such run was authored by Herb Pennock in 1919, at a time when Babe Ruth was a fellow member of the rotation.

Meanwhile, Porcello’s strike-throwing has become outrageously consistent. He struck out seven and walked none on Monday. In his last six starts, he’s issued a total of one walk. He’s faced 170 batters in that time. He hasn’t issued a walk in seven of the last 11 starts; he’s issued one walk three times; and he’s allowed two free passes once.

On Monday, he didn’t go to a three-ball count until the 22nd batter of the game, running a count full against Mark Trumbo. He concluded the at-bat on the next pitch, getting Trumbo to swing over the top of a cutter.

The last time an American League pitcher had at least 11 straight starts of seven-plus innings, three or fewer runs allowed, and two or fewer walks was 1989, when Bret Saberhagen did it in 14 straight starts for the Royals en route to a 23-6 record and the Cy Young Award. With two starts left, Porcello has a chance to match Saberhagen in wins, and with each outing, his chances grow of taking home the same kind of hardware that the former Kansas City ace received.

Given what he’s accomplished, it’s intriguing to ask what kind of contract Porcello might receive if he’d been a free agent this year. In a world where he hadn’t signed his extension – for the sake of argument, perhaps one can assume that he would have received a one-year qualifying offer at the end of last year, either accepting or heading elsewhere on a one-year deal to re-establish his value – and sat on the cusp of free agency, what kind of gold mine might have awaited him?

A survey of a handful of evaluators took stock of that question, stirring the stew of his remarkable performance this year, the brevity of his standing as a dominant starter, his career track record, his typical durability, the unusually young age (27) at which he’d be a free agent, the thin free agent class of starters, and recent long-term contracts for pitchers.

Multiple evaluators noted that Jeff Samardzija received a five-year, $90 million ($18 million average annual value) from the Giants last winter as a 30-year-old coming off a down year. The most skeptical evaluations of Porcello suggested that he would land somewhere between Samardzija’s deal and those received by Jordan Zimmermann (five years, $110 million -- $22 million AAV) and Johnny Cueto (six years, $130 million -- $21.66 million AAV). Others thought that $25 million a year for five or six years would be in reach. Yet another thought that six years and $150 million might be light, given Porcello’s age, market scarcity, and the possibility that he might have a Cy Young Award as a decorative accent in his living room.Speier

09-21-2016, 02:35 AM
He's a legitimate number two starter since late August of last year has been the best Red Sox starter. He and Price are starting to come together and while it is a shame that Wright is out, the three through five have some decent starts here and there. It was encouraging to see Rodriguez touching 94 into the 7th inning and outside of the Mancini home run, was calm, cool and collected. So that's a positive sign.