The 2017 Rotation

BaseballJones

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Cherry-picked recent trends with the starting pitching...

- Porcello: Last 6 games - 37.1 ip, 5.06 era, 1.69 whip, 8.0 k/9. 6.0+ innings each start.

- Sale: Last 6 games - 38.1 ip, 4.70 era, 1.15 whip, 13.1 k/9.

- Price: Only 2 games but - 12.0 ip, 3.00 era, 0.67 whip, 8.3 k/9.

- Pomeranz: Last 5 games - 25.0 ip, 2.52 era, 1.32 whip, 12.6 k/9.

So...some good news and some bad news. Even Pomeranz' good news, though, comes with a caveat: He can barely get through 5 on pretty high pitch counts. But, he's only had 2 starts where he's given up more than 2 runs, so that's encouraging.
 

uk_sox_fan

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Sox are now 21-6 (.778) when their starter posts a GS of 55+ (all 27 starts coming from the 1st 5 + BJ). For the same 6 starters they're 9-9 when the GS is 40-54 and 3-6 when someone throws a stinker (GS < 40).

By starter they're as follows:

Code:
Pitcher  55+  40-54  39-
Sale     8-3   1-0   1-0
Price    1-0   0-1   0-1
Porc     1-3   3-3   1-2
ERod     5-0   2-2   0-1
Pom      5-0   2-3   0-2
BJ       1-0   1-0   1-0
 

uk_sox_fan

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So with the front 6 the numbers are:
  • 1/2 the games are 55+ with a winning percentage of .778
  • 1/3 of the games are 40-54 with a winning percentage of .500
  • 1/6 of the games are 39- with a winning percentage of .333
(all records in the above post are w/l for the club not for the starter)
 

uk_sox_fan

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Since my 12 Jun post the starters have done the following:

Code:
Pitcher  55+  40-54  39-
Sale     3-2   ---   ---
Price    2-1   1-1   1-0 (his 2 in the 40-54 cat. were both 54 and 1 in the 39- was 39)
Porc     1-1   1-1   1-1
ERod     ---   ---   ---
Pom      3-1   1-0   ---
BJ       ---   ---   1-0
Fister   ---   1-1   0-1
Looking at ZiPS* RoS projections for starters, it would seem the Sox have the best rotation in MLB going forward. Ranked by RoS WAR they have the:
  • top #1 (Sale 3.1, Scherzer 3.0, Kershaw 2.9, Kluber 2.7, Archer/Syndergaard 2.3)
  • 3rd best #2 (Strasburg 2.2, Carrasco 2.0, Price 1.9, Arrieta/deGrom 1.8, Ray/Samardzija 1.7)
  • top #3 (Porcello 1.8, Tanaka/Cueto 1.5, Hendricks/G Gonzalez 1.4, Salazar 1.3)
  • tied top #4 (Bauer/Pomeranz 1.3, Wacha 1.1, Happ/Lackey/Ross 1.0, Tillman/Gsellman/Odorizzi/Hill 0.9)
  • tied 3rd best #5 (Roark 1.0, Tomlin 0.9, Liriano/Corbin/Urias/Cobb/Sabathia/ERod 0.8)
  • Fister (0.4) is slightly below average (0.48) for a #6 (McCarthy 0.8, Clevinger/Faria 0.7)
and I personally think that's pretty pessimistic on ERod...

So for staffs (#1 through #6) the totals come out:
  1. Boston 9.3
  2. Cleveland 8.9
  3. Washington 8.8
  4. LA Dodgers 8.1
  5. NY Mets 7.4
  6. Chicago Cubs 6.9
  7. NY Yankees 6.9
  8. San Francisco 6.8
  9. Tampa Bay 6.7
*Steamer generally has lower projections except for Kershaw (3.3) well ahead of Sale (2.8) and Scherzer (2.7) for RoS WAR. They confirm Price (1.6) as the 3rd best #2 behind Carrasco (1.9) and Strasburg (1.8) and have Porcello (1.5) as joint best #3 with Tanaka. Pomeranz is only predicted 1.0, but that's still joint-best for a #4 with LA's Maeda and McCarthy (their #5) and ERod is given no love with 0.5
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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Rotation Rank by median Game Score:
1. 70 - Sale (19 GS, 13-6)
2. 63 - Rodriguez (10 GS, 7-3)
3. 55 - Pomeranz (18 GS, 12-6)
4. 54 - Price (9 GS, 5-4)
5. 48 - Porcello (19 GS, 8-11)
6. 40 - The Replacements (16 GS, 6-10)

It's almost unbelievable that Sale's rocking a 70 median Game Score this deep into the season. What's even more unbelievable, though, is that the Red Sox are only 10-4 when a pitcher's start is that good or better (the Sox have ended up losing Sale's 84, 79, 70 in addition to Porcello's season high 71).

Pomeranz, for example, hasn't had even one start as good as Sale's ho-hum usual effort (best Game Score = 67) and the Sox W-L is almost exactly the same in his starts as in Sale's.

Oh wait, that's right...the offense isn't scoring even one run per game during the Chris Sale starts that end up as losses.

Red Sox Average Runs Scored per Team Loss:
1. 0.833 - Sale
2. 1.455 - Porcello
3. 2.250 - Rodriguez
4. 2.750 - Price
5. 3.167 - Pomeranz
6. 3.200 - The Replacements

[edit:] In conclusion: offense, stop with the sucking aready. And get well soon, EdRo.
 
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Plympton91

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Why are they using a 7 man rotation the week after everyone just effectively skipped a start? Why is Doug Fister still on the team? I don't understand.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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After a rough start... it looked like Rodriguez settled in. I expected some rust (and despite the pre-AS Break flop against the Rays and the offensive ineptitude since the Break) but having our projected starting 5 pitching like they've been will take our team deep. Weaknesses in the BP and offense a different subject but the rotation looks to be the strongest 1-5 in my lifetime
 

Al Zarilla

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After a rough start... it looked like Rodriguez settled in. I expected some rust (and despite the pre-AS Break flop against the Rays and the offensive ineptitude since the Break) but having our projected starting 5 pitching like they've been will take our team deep. Weaknesses in the BP and offense a different subject but the rotation looks to be the strongest 1-5 in my lifetime
There is something to be said for consistency and health though. I mean, the 2004 starting five of Schilling, Martinez, Wakefield, Lowe and Arroyo started all but five games. They weren't all great but they kept guys of the ilk of Wright, Kendrick and Fister off the mound at starts of games. I do hope this year's starters all stay healthy from here on out.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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There is something to be said for consistency and health though. I mean, the 2004 starting five of Schilling, Martinez, Wakefield, Lowe and Arroyo started all but five games. They weren't all great but they kept guys of the ilk of Wright, Kendrick and Fister off the mound at starts of games. I do hope this year's starters all stay healthy from here on out.
Sure. Starting rotation in aggregate in '04 would be preferable. Just going on a "healthy" 1-5, this years group is preferable- no temp or spot starters figured in there.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I'd have predicted Maddox would go down. But then again, I'd have started Fister.
Maddox got sent down after the DH.
Then I was right! ;)

Fister threw over 50 pitches on Saturday. Even considering the extra off-days prior to that, I can understand not rushing him back to make a start on two days rest.
If they think he's going to have value in the long run, then I agree. And seeing how things turned out it looks like they made the right call.
 

joe dokes

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Sox have 5 off days between 7/27 and 8/17.
If they can keep it together for another week or so, I think that's going to go a long way towards helping the pitching get even stronger, and allow Farrell to shorten the pen for a short time.
 

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Sox have 5 off days between 7/27 and 8/17.
If they can keep it together for another week or so, I think that's going to go a long way towards helping the pitching get even stronger, and allow Farrell to shorten the pen for a short time.
For better or worse, it's really a bit more extreme than that. They have 7/27 off, and then 4 off days between August 7 and August 17, which seems like a very odd schedule.
 

uk_sox_fan

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For better or worse, it's really a bit more extreme than that. They have 7/27 off, and then 4 off days between August 7 and August 17, which seems like a very odd schedule.
That's ridiculous! I come over to the States to visit my parents for two weeks every August and they're taking 4 of the 16 days off that I'm going to be there??? I want to talk to someone responsible for this!
 
That's ridiculous! I come over to the States to visit my parents for two weeks every August and they're taking 4 of the 16 days off that I'm going to be there??? I want to talk to someone responsible for this!
You're not kidding. I'm away with no tv/internet access for three weeks starting on the 19th. It's a scheduling disgrace not to put the days off then.
 

joe dokes

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For better or worse, it's really a bit more extreme than that. They have 7/27 off, and then 4 off days between August 7 and August 17, which seems like a very odd schedule.
By my quick and dirty, Sale could pitch sunday, 8/6, then open the series at NYY on Friday 8/11, with regular rest and only 2 games in between.
 

BaseballJones

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After a rough start... it looked like Rodriguez settled in. I expected some rust (and despite the pre-AS Break flop against the Rays and the offensive ineptitude since the Break) but having our projected starting 5 pitching like they've been will take our team deep. Weaknesses in the BP and offense a different subject but the rotation looks to be the strongest 1-5 in my lifetime
Sale has been a CYA pitcher this year. Price has been fantastic after his first couple of starts. Rodriguez has been terrific when healthy and Pomeranz has been really solid all year long. And the fifth best guy has been last year's CYA winner, and even he has been coming around. His last five starts:

32.2 ip, 3.31 era, 1.16 whip, 8.3 k/9

So yeah the rotation is looking fantastic.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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So what's the chance that Porcello loses 20 games this season? He's up to 13, he's good enough that he's not going to get dropped from the rotation, especially if the Sox are in a tight playoff race, and he's had an extremely annoying combination of snakebit by the crummy offense/pitch well enough to lose lately. It hopefully won't happen but the losses are getting up there.

Has there ever been a Cy Young winner who has lost 20 games the next season?
 
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DanoooME

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So what's the chance that Porcello loses 20 games this season? He's up to 13, he's good enough that he's not going to get dropped from the rotation, especially if the Sox are in a tight playoff race, and he's had an extremely annoying combination of snakebit by the crummy offense/pitch well enough to lose lately. It hopefully won't happen but the losses are getting up there.

Has there ever been a Cy Young winner who has lost 20 games the next season?
Yes, Steve Carlton won the CY in 1972 and then lost 20 games in 1973. Denny McLain won in 1968 and 1969, got hurt in 1970 and lost 20 in 1971. Randy Jones lost 20 in 1974 then was runner-up to Tom Seaver in 1975 and winning it in 1976.

Losing 20 games is an achievement in itself. Only one man (Mike Maroth in 2003 for Det) has lost 20 games since 1980.
 

Rasputin

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Anyone else remember people being pissed we gave up Mike Maroth to get Bryce Florie?

Ahh, those were the days.
 

Rasputin

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Doug Fister has been here for like a week and a half and he's got five goddamn losses. The whole goddamn team only has 47. Doug Fister, in seven goddamn appearances has five fucking losses. I just looked him up on bbref to see if they'd replaced his game scores with a picture of an ass, but no, they didn't, they did better. They replaced his uniform number with fucking goatse.

Not since the days of Mike Fucking Benjamin and his goddamn sideburns of suck have I felt this level of loathing. The man has literally made 7 appearances in over 100 games played by the team and he has five of the 47 losses. For those of you that suck at math, THAT'S MORE THAN TEN PERCENT OF THE LOSSES IN LESS THAN SEVEN PERCENT OF THE GAMES.

Seven percent solution my fat ass.
 

BillLeesJumpShot

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Doug Fister has been here for like a week and a half and he's got five goddamn losses. The whole goddamn team only has 47. Doug Fister, in seven goddamn appearances has five fucking losses. I just looked him up on bbref to see if they'd replaced his game scores with a picture of an ass, but no, they didn't, they did better. They replaced his uniform number with fucking goatse.

Not since the days of Mike Fucking Benjamin and his goddamn sideburns of suck have I felt this level of loathing. The man has literally made 7 appearances in over 100 games played by the team and he has five of the 47 losses. For those of you that suck at math, THAT'S MORE THAN TEN PERCENT OF THE LOSSES IN LESS THAN SEVEN PERCENT OF THE GAMES.

Seven percent solution my fat ass.
Wonderful rant!
 

shaggydog2000

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Doug Fister has been here for like a week and a half and he's got five goddamn losses. The whole goddamn team only has 47. Doug Fister, in seven goddamn appearances has five fucking losses. I just looked him up on bbref to see if they'd replaced his game scores with a picture of an ass, but no, they didn't, they did better. They replaced his uniform number with fucking goatse.

Not since the days of Mike Fucking Benjamin and his goddamn sideburns of suck have I felt this level of loathing. The man has literally made 7 appearances in over 100 games played by the team and he has five of the 47 losses. For those of you that suck at math, THAT'S MORE THAN TEN PERCENT OF THE LOSSES IN LESS THAN SEVEN PERCENT OF THE GAMES.

Seven percent solution my fat ass.
I know whose jersey somebody is going to be getting for secret Santa this year.
 

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Doug Fister has been here for like a week and a half and he's got five goddamn losses. The whole goddamn team only has 47. Doug Fister, in seven goddamn appearances has five fucking losses. I just looked him up on bbref to see if they'd replaced his game scores with a picture of an ass, but no, they didn't, they did better. They replaced his uniform number with fucking goatse.

Not since the days of Mike Fucking Benjamin and his goddamn sideburns of suck have I felt this level of loathing. The man has literally made 7 appearances in over 100 games played by the team and he has five of the 47 losses. For those of you that suck at math, THAT'S MORE THAN TEN PERCENT OF THE LOSSES IN LESS THAN SEVEN PERCENT OF THE GAMES.

Seven percent solution my fat ass.
He's gotten better.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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So let's assume the Sox do make the playoffs. And let's also assume that Price is back in some form. What is the post-season rotation? As of today, the only two locks I see are Sale and Fister.
Pomeranz should be a lock... a well deserved one too. His last start aside, he's been dominating for most of the season. He makes me nervous but the results speak for themselves.
Price should move to the pen.
Porcello too.
Ed Rod 4th starter
 

notmannysfault

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I don't care if it's a mirage, and if he loses to a stud in the playoffs, I won't be at all surprised, but in a season of underperformance, Fister has become my "Must Watch" for the purpose of enjoying every bit he does to stabilize this otherwise underwhelming rotation.

Pre 2004, the Sox used to look to guys like "Frank Castillo" as a number 3....give me Fister as a 4.5 any time, all else equal.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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So let's assume the Sox do make the playoffs. And let's also assume that Price is back in some form. What is the post-season rotation? As of today, the only two locks I see are Sale and Fister.
Price isn't going to return with enough time to build himself up to starter-level pitch counts. So he shouldn't even be a consideration for the rotation at this point. He's in the pen if he's pitching at all.

If things continue as they are right now, and Fister keeps putting up 7 inning gems, the top three are Sale, Pomeranz, and Fister, with a Porcello vs Rodriguez battle for the fourth spot. I don't care about history, you gotta ride the hot hands in the post-season and Fister is the hot hand. He's 2004 post-season Derek Lowe only he started doing it in August.
 

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Price isn't going to return with enough time to build himself up to starter-level pitch counts. So he shouldn't even be a consideration for the rotation at this point. He's in the pen if he's pitching at all.

If things continue as they are right now, and Fister keeps putting up 7 inning gems, the top three are Sale, Pomeranz, and Fister, with a Porcello vs Rodriguez battle for the fourth spot. I don't care about history, you gotta ride the hot hands in the post-season and Fister is the hot hand. He's 2004 post-season Derek Lowe only he started doing it in August.
I don't disagree with this, but I will say that starter-level pitch counts can be far less in the playoffs. I think it would be interesting to see something like Sale, Fister, Pomeranz/Price, and Rodriguez/Porcello. Pomeranz has been great, but he rarely goes deep. Get 3-4 innings out of him and then go to Price. Same with ERod--get 3-4 innings out of him and then go to Porcello.
I doubt this will happen, but I think it might be the best use of resources.
 

BaseballJones

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Price isn't going to return with enough time to build himself up to starter-level pitch counts. So he shouldn't even be a consideration for the rotation at this point. He's in the pen if he's pitching at all.

If things continue as they are right now, and Fister keeps putting up 7 inning gems, the top three are Sale, Pomeranz, and Fister, with a Porcello vs Rodriguez battle for the fourth spot. I don't care about history, you gotta ride the hot hands in the post-season and Fister is the hot hand. He's 2004 post-season Derek Lowe only he started doing it in August.
Fister is the hot hand NOW, but he may not be the hot hand in three weeks. But definitely, if the playoffs started today, Fister absolutely has to be in the rotation.
 

TheoShmeo

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I don't disagree with this, but I will say that starter-level pitch counts can be far less in the playoffs. I think it would be interesting to see something like Sale, Fister, Pomeranz/Price, and Rodriguez/Porcello. Pomeranz has been great, but he rarely goes deep. Get 3-4 innings out of him and then go to Price. Same with ERod--get 3-4 innings out of him and then go to Porcello.
I doubt this will happen, but I think it might be the best use of resources.
I like this plan a lot. It makes so much sense that I can't imagine John Farrell grasping it never mind employing it.

The only gloss I would put on it is that I would be willing to let Pomeranz and ERod go to 5-6 innings if they were pitching well before pulling the plug. In that event. using Price or Porcello for 1-2 innings would also work well. Make no mistake, I would have a keen eye on both starters from the 3-4 inning mark, and would be willing to split the game, effectively, if I detected any issues (such as loss of command) even before runs started to cross the plate. But there would be no reason to pull them if they were rolling along...shades of Maddon inserting Lester too early in last year's WS.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't disagree with this, but I will say that starter-level pitch counts can be far less in the playoffs. I think it would be interesting to see something like Sale, Fister, Pomeranz/Price, and Rodriguez/Porcello. Pomeranz has been great, but he rarely goes deep. Get 3-4 innings out of him and then go to Price. Same with ERod--get 3-4 innings out of him and then go to Porcello.
I doubt this will happen, but I think it might be the best use of resources.
Well, if Price and Porcello are in the pen anyway, they can do this without necessarily locking in that they'll have piggy back starters in a future game.

If those two are not scheduled to start a game, then I want them to be free to relieve behind Sale or Fister as well. I mean, if they're playing the Indians and Sale has another dud start against them in Game 1, I want Farrell to be able to turn the ball over to Porcello (or Price) to eat some innings and stem the bleeding while saving the rest of the pen. I don't want him sitting on either guy because they must be fresh to back up the Game 3 starter.

By the same token, if Pomeranz is cruising through 5 with a low pitch count, you don't want to pull him out of obligation to get Price his 2-3 innings of work.
 

pk1627

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I don't disagree with this, but I will say that starter-level pitch counts can be far less in the playoffs. I think it would be interesting to see something like Sale, Fister, Pomeranz/Price, and Rodriguez/Porcello. Pomeranz has been great, but he rarely goes deep. Get 3-4 innings out of him and then go to Price. Same with ERod--get 3-4 innings out of him and then go to Porcello.
I doubt this will happen, but I think it might be the best use of resources.
We have but two starters who have better metrics the second time through the order than the first time. They are Sale and Price. I am wondering if the (given all sorts of assumptions) plan is to have 2017 Price take the 2016 Miller role.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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We have but two starters who have better metrics the second time through the order than the first time. They are Sale and Price. I am wondering if the (given all sorts of assumptions) plan is to have 2017 Price take the 2016 Miller role.
Price in the "Miller" role depends on Price's stamina, no? If he's not going to have time to build himself up to making 80+ pitches every 4-5 days, does he have time to build himself to a point where he can make 20-25-30 pitches in back to back games, or even with a day of rest in between?
 

uncannymanny

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He’s thrown multiple sessions in the last week (3-4 I think) and he’s throwing a 30 pitch sim wit hitters today.
 

MikeM

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I don't care about history, you gotta ride the hot hands in the post-season and Fister is the hot hand
A lot of people don't care about history there. Or veteran status and salary considerations. They aren't the ones making that call though.

If Fister stays the hot hand I can see the case being made there, but people here are also probably underestimating how much of a "claim" guys like Price and the reigning Cy Young on a $20m/per contract can have going into that equation. It's not going to be a "with all things being equal" type of decision, and color me skeptical Farrell gives those specific nods simply based on who looks only somewhat better on paper.
 

sean1562

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I hope that Porcello doesnt think his Cy last year forever ensures him a spot in the rotation. He has had one good year here out of three. He should be fighting for the last rotation spot in spring training next year after his performance this season. In my dream world Wright comes back and can do pretty much what Porcello has done this year next season.
 

trekfan55

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I hope that Porcello doesnt think his Cy last year forever ensures him a spot in the rotation. He has had one good year here out of three. He should be fighting for the last rotation spot in spring training next year after his performance this season. In my dream world Wright comes back and can do pretty much what Porcello has done this year next season.
Except this is not the NFL where the Sox could cut a player and save salary (there's a cap hit I know) The Sox are on the hook for all of his contract and that figures as part of the equation.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Close the book on Porcello for the regular season.

He finishes close to the top of the league in home runs allowed and very close to the bottom of the league in ERA/FIP. But it wasn't all bad news. He was an innings eater, and that was not without value. There were times this year that the team was pretty thin when it came to quality bullpen arms. He was relatively efficient and got late into games. The Sox won all five of his no decision starts.

A C- or D+ year looking at it objectively. But for this team he probably had a little more value than that. Sixteen wins in his starts and he saved bullpen to give some of the other starters who weren't quite as efficient a chance at a more rested bullpen.
 

joe dokes

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I hope that Porcello doesnt think his Cy last year forever ensures him a spot in the rotation. He has had one good year here out of three. He should be fighting for the last rotation spot in spring training next year after his performance this season. In my dream world Wright comes back and can do pretty much what Porcello has done this year next season.
I think you underestimate both the difficulty and the value of pitching 200 innings of league average baseball.
And while I suppose its just a figure of speech, I don't particularly care what Porcello thinks. But I'd rather have a player think he's a good major leaguer than a player who doesn't. The former might fail; the latter probably will.