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Porcello Back In Cy Young Form?



Boston Red Sox Rick Porcello Back In Cy Young Form? Let’s Examine It

We’ve all been a little tough on Rick Porcello this season. Better yet, our expectations have been a little tough on the 28-year-old righty. The high-hopes we have for this young sinkerballer are ambitious, to say the least. He won the Cy Young award last year, so this is to be expected. But what happens now that Porcello has failed to reproduce his 2016 numbers? We all attempt to shield “Pretty Ricky” with, 100% unwarranted, ponderous excuse-making.

We all know he doesn’t get much run-support, but that’s beside the point. I’ve heard speculations of phantom-injuries. I’ve seen cushioning such as: “he’s not getting on top of the ball”, followed by pedantic frame-by-frame analysis of his mechanics. As if a hangnail could render Porcello an entirely different player!

We’ll grant this kid absurd impunity before we admit that he’s not actually as good as he appeared to be in 2016.

Here’s the scoop: he’s not.

It’s safe to consider his bewildering 2017 underperformance to be Porcello regressing to the mean. No one is impervious to the law of numbers, not even a Cy Young winning pitcher.

A Breakthrough Fluke

Porcello’s superlative 2016 season was a statistical outlier. Every player is allotted 1, Porcello’s was just more impressive than others. Last year he had a 3.15 ERA and won a league-high 22 games for the Red Sox. He was ace-like. Conversely, his career ERA is 4.24. Prior to 2016, the most wins he had in a single season was 15. Rick Porcello unequivocally had a career-year in 2016. This kid pulled a Cy Young season out of thin-air. Boston, this is not something Porcello is gonna do again anytime soon.

This season, Rick Porcello has posted rather underwhelming numbers. He has an unimpressive 4.63 ERA and only has 6 victories. What’s the deal, he’s a Cy Young winner, right? This is barely a below-average year for Porcello. It’s the juxtaposition with his numbers from last year, that makes his 2017 performance seem like he’s absolutely vomiting on himself.

Porcello’s 4.63 ERA is only .39 runs higher than his career ERA of 4.24. His output in this same category last year was a full 1.09 runs lower than his average, making 2016 the less accurate example of his ability. This illustrates exactly why our standards for Rick Porcello need to be adjusted.

Back to Reality

Perhaps the most alarming disparity between Porcello’s 2017 season when compared to prior years, is a number of home runs he has allowed. 

In 24 games, Rick Porcello has given up 28 homers. Last season he gave up a total of 23, and in 2015 he gave up 25. This year, it seems like he can’t go a game without giving up the token long-ball!

This could be a symptom of Porcello feeling the pressure to over perform, or it could be that teams now have a more extensive scouting report on him. If he was to make an honest commentary on his failures, Porcello would probably just shrug his shoulders. And that’s just fine, sometimes there’s no more honest an answer.

All that should be expected from and all that we need to see from Rick Porcello is the 4.24 ERA pitcher that he really is. Sure, we can explore excuses manifold for his bad 2017 season (whatever helps you sleep at night), but that only creates frustration. We have aces on this team. We have Cy Young winners on this team. If Porcello could settle into a middle of the rotation anchor, he’d be fulfilling his role with the Red Sox. He needs to do nothing more and nothing less than just that.

Columnist operating out of Manchester, NH. Retired pitcher (unprofessional not amateur). Voracious consumer of all things Celtics and Red Sox. Sometimes I produce content as well.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Managerial Decision Seemingly Made Up



Did anyone think that the Boston Red Sox would take their time when hiring their new field manager? According to one report the team is moving rather quickly

According to one report, the team is moving rather quickly to the point where their minds are already made up.

“There is a 99.9 percent chance of [Cora] being named Red Sox leader,” a source told Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Dia. “They want him for the job. That post is for him. Alex is very beloved there. And he would love to run Boston. They want to make the fast decision.”

Cora is currently serving as the bench coach for the Houston Astros, a team that is battling it out with the New York Yankees for the chance to go to the World Series. Boston isn’t the only suitor for the former player however. Cora is set to meet with the New York Mets on Tuesday and is also expected to be of interest to other teams like the Philadelphia Phillies.

But the interest between Boston and Cora is mutual and a report from Puerto Rico confirms that. Cora played for the Red Sox during his career and was part of the 2007 Wolrd Series team. At the time he was considered an excellent leader on the team that had all the intangible qualities of one daying being an excellent coach. Since his playing days, he has served as an ESPN Analyst, GM of Puerto Rico national team, coach in Puerto Rico’s baseball league, and now a bench coach for Houston.

If the Red Sox are able to bring in Cora it would be seen as if they had been grooming him for years and that he is their guy. With other suitors in tow, it looks like an offer from the Boston Red Sox to Cora is going to come rather quickly. And quite frankly, this is the best decision for the team.

Acquiring Cora is far superior to a long time mediocre manager like Ron Gardenhire or a failed first coach stinter like Brad Ausmus. Cora is both young and has some prior experience to bring to the table. The one real question with him is if he will be too buddy-buddy with the players, a very real possibility.

Red Sox fans seem to be rather torn on this topic, many seem to like the idea of an old manager like Gardenhire, while others favor Cora who was a fan favorite as a player. In reality the true intentions or favorite of the Red Sox is unknown, but for the moment, Cora looks like the lock.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Manager Contestants Stepping Right Up



Red Sox

On Wednesday the Boston Red Sox fired field manager John Farrell. With the departure of Farrell, the Red Sox must now conduct a full and wide search for their next manager. There are dozens of potential candidates for the job. The one choice that will have to be made is to either to go young or go old.

Fortunately for us, Dave Dombrowski gave a general outline of what he will be looking for in the next manager. In his post-firing presser, he mentioned that the candidate is unlikely to come from within.

That comment seemingly rules out a candidate like Chili Davis or Gary Ddisarcina.

In terms of experience, Dombrowski said “I think managerial experience helps. I don’t think it’s a 100% necessity.”. He also mentioned the importance of being in the dugout as experience. The last time Dombrowski hired a field manager he was in charge of the Detroit Tigers. The coach he hired at the time was Brad Asmus. So maybe that means he will go on the younger side.

If he goes young in terms of experience here is the list of potential candidates:

  • Brad Asmus: Asmus was let go by Detriot after having a rather shaky first tenure as a manager. He was hired by Dombrowski and has plenty of connections to New England. He will land somewhere this offseason.
  • Alex Cora: Direct connections to Boston and knows how the media is here. Well respected by players and has coached in Puerto Rico and is the bench coach for AJ Hinch’s Houston Astros.
  • Jason Varitek: Obvious connections here. But he has no actual experience as a coach in the dugout. He has helped with player development and scouting as a special assistant to the gm in Boston. But chances are he isn’t in the conversation.
  • Hensley Meulens: Speaks Spanish, English (and other languages), has extensive coaching experience and serves as the hitting coach for the Giants. Has coached the Netherlands in the WBC. There has been a rumor that Major League Baseball is encouraging the Red Sox to hire a coach of minority status. Meulens fits that bill.

In terms of an older/experiences option, there are a few. There is an opportunity here for Dombrowksi. That opportunity is to convince the well respected Jim Leyland to come out of retirement. Leyland though doesn’t seem interested in coaching again and decline to come to Boston a long time ago.

Below are few options for an experienced field manager:

  • Leyland
  • Torey Luvullo: Had a 93 win first season at the helm of Arizona. Could be convinced to leave to come back to Boston.
  • Joe Girardi: Could be on his way out of New York. Is a noted good in-game manager.
  • Ron Gardenhire: Former Twins manager and currently a bench coach for the Diamondbacks. This kind of smells to me though.

What way will Dombrowski go with is anyone’s guess. This process can take awhile with the team needing to lock down a list and start the interview process. According to Dombrowski he always has a list of people for every position he might have to hire for. So, in theory, this could happen fairly quickly.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Fire John Farrell



John Farrell

On Wednesday morning the Boston Red Sox have announced that they have parted ways with field manager John Farrell.

Farrell has been the manager since 2013 and during his tenure, he led the team to 3 AL East division titles and a World Series Victory. The other two seasons happened to be two straight last-place finishes.

Farrell has been constantly criticized for his below average in game management, but being able to win 93 games when your team had turmoil and underperformances all season was impressive. While personally, I am not a supporter of him. I feel as if he often fails to get the credit he deserves.

But when it comes down to it, he is not the future at the helm for the Boston Red Sox.

According to the team, the process to find the next field manager will start immediately with Dave Dombrowski addressing the situation shortly.

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