Rick Porcello Out-Pitches Chris Sale in 3-0 win

Rick Porcello pitched 7 strong innings in a rare good start that pleasantly surprised me. The Red Sox righty out-dueled one of baseball’s best young talents last night in Chris Sale behind his strong outing and some late help from Travis Shaw, who hit a 2-run home run in the 8th inning to seal the deal. Porcello struck out 5, while walking none in his 7 innings on Wednesday, thus earning his first win since July.

As to where this performance came from, your guess is as good as mine. Maybe Rick Rick PorcelloPorcello missing time helped him work through his kinks, or maybe it was just the familiarity of pitching at US Cellular Field as a member of the Detroit Tigers that made it easier for him to settle for in. Personally, I hope it’s the former, because it means Rick Porcello has turned a corner during his disappointing first season with the team. That would be ideal after the Red Sox traded for him last off-season, then signed him to a 4-year/$82 million extension in April before he even threw a pitch.

When the news came out that the team extended him, I was initially a fan of the deal, but ate my words after he posted a 5-11 record and an ERA up near 6 before he was sidelined these past few weeks.

Maybe he’ll end up emulating John Lackey, who was very disappointing for the first 2 seasons of the team, was sidelined for all of 2012 after Tommy John surgery before bouncing back in 2013 and 2014 and becoming the guy we thought we signed in 2010. At least until he was traded at the 2014 trade deadline last season. I hope Porcello is going to follow a similar path, albeit a little faster than Lackey, because Porcello is better than he’s shown in a Red Sox uniform. This season is far from being all on him, but he has certainly played his part in the struggles of the 2015 Red Sox.

Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part, but I really want Porcello to succeed here and go back to the guy he was in Detroit. He’s got a ways to go, but it starts with a single step, and he took that step last night.

‘Tis The Season For Red Sox Trades!

red sox trades
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In need of adding starting pitchers to their rotation, the Boston Red Sox made a move early today acquiring lefty Wade Miley from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for starting pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa. Additionally, the BoSox moved arguably their most valuable piece of trade bait today in Yoenis Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello.

Unlike Webster and De La Rosa, Miley does not overpower hitters with his fastball. red sox trades wade rileyThe southpaw sits at 91MPH and heavily relies upon his slider for success. 2014 was not Wad Miley’s best season to date, but there were a few positives that can be taken away from it. Despite posting a 4.34 ERA in 33 starts, he managed to strike out 183 men in 201.1 innings and pitched much better on the road.

What Boston gave up in return may seem like a bit much for Miley, but the deal will work out well for both sides.

The Red Sox are looking to compete next year so they need a proven starter. Webster and De La Rosa have more upside than Miley, but right now the Red Sox are looking for consistency and were afraid to take a risk in 2015. Do not be surprised if Allen Webster has a breakout season next year as a starting pitcher and if Rubby De La Rosa is a highly-effective reliever.

With Anthony Ranaudo as the most qualified young candidate to start in 2015, perhaps the organization will take a step back and look to obtain an ace and a two starter next.

Headed to the Motor City along with Cespedes is Alex Wilson, who owns a career 3.38 ERA in 44 MLB appearances, and Gabe Speier, a 19-year-old who pitched well in the Gulf Coast League this past season but is not considered a top prospect by the Red Sox organization.

The Red Sox made out like bandits on this one despite both sides winning the trade. Even though Rick Porcello may seem like a big league veteran as he has played in the league since 2009, keep in mind he is only 25 years old which is three years younger than Alex Wilson.

With this in mind, Porcello had his first true breakout year last season when he red sox trades rick porcelloposted a 3.43 ERA in 32 appearances for the Tigers in which he ate up 204.1 innings and walked just 1.8 men per nine innings pitched. Expect him to pitch even better in 2015 and develop into a star pitcher in no-time.

In the Red Sox rotation, there is no question as to whether or not Porcello could be an effective number two starter because he could be based off of how well he pitched in 2014. He is set to earn $12.2 million next season which puts him on the cheaper side for a pitcher of his ability, saving the Red Sox a bit of money.

Cespedes, who the Red Sox acquired at the trade deadline in the Jon Lester deal, clubbed 22 home runs with a .301 OBP in his time split between Oakland and Boston in 2014. With the Boston Red Sox outfield crowded to being with (not to mention after the acquisition of Hanley Ramirez) it became apparent that the club would need to trade Cespedes.

Now Boston must look to get a true ace.

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