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Red Sox Talk: Houston We Have A Problem With Rick Porcello



Red Sox Talk: Houston We Have A Problem With Reigning AL Cy Young Winner Rick Porcello After He Turns In Another Poor Performance.

The Boston Red Sox took on the Houston Astros on Saturday night with reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello going for Boston.

Porcello was clobbered right out of the gate giving up three runs in the first inning and then giving up another three runs in the third inning. Porcello’s night ended after 6 innings of work giving up 7 runs on 10 hits, striking out three, and walking one batter.

Porcello’s ERA climbs to 5.05 and his record drops to 3-9 on the season with the reigning CY Young winner not finding his bearings in 2017. Porcello hasn’t won a game since May 23rd against the Texas Rangers and he has given up 5 or more earned runs in three straight starts.

Finding out what is wrong with Porcello is not easy to do when looking at his advanced statistics.

On the right-hand side is his heat maps, the top one being from his 2016 Cy Young campaign and the lower one being from this season. The heat zones have similar marks, his misses are also consistent. The largest noticeable difference in his heat maps are that he is throwing slightly more balls in the middle of the strikezone.

2016 Porcello had a 3.15 ERA, 7.63 k/9, 1.29 bb/9, .230 BAA, and 74.3% LOB 1.01 WHIP.

In 2017 Porcello has a 5.05 ERA, 8.52 k/9, 1.77 bb/9, .310 BAA, and 69.4% LOB 1.51 WHIP.

Based on these basic pitching statistics you can see Porcello’s strikeouts per nine

are up this season which is generally considered a good thing. But Porcello’s walks are up and he is allowing more runs to score when their are players on base. A 6% change in LOB might not seem like much, but his career number is 70.1%.

In 2016 Porcello gave up 23 home runs in 33 games started. So far in 2017 he has given up 16 home runs in 15 games started. At this rate Porcello will exceed last years home run total in 7 starts or so.

Home run totals can be deceiving though, so let’s take a look at his HR/FB.

HR/FB = (Total Home Runs Allowed / Fly Balls Allowed)*100

HR/FB is very important because it offers insight into how “lucky or unlucky” a pitcher’s home run rate might be.

In 2016 Porcello’s rate was 9.3% which was his best season in the majors. In 2017 Porcello’s rate is over 13% after giving up two home-runs to the Astros. His career rate is 11% and in 2015 it was a career high 14.5%. For a comparison Chris Sale‘s 2017 HR/FB is 6.7%.

While the home-run ball has been a burden for Porcello, it does not explain everything that has gone wrong with him. His main issues has been his sinker ball which was key to his success in 2016.

“There’s been a constant and persistent focus on trying to regain the release and the action to his sinker,” manager John Farrell said Sunday. “That’s priority No. 1 and has been for him.”

Despite his struggles in 2017 and his inability to use his sinker, there is no time or ability for the Boston Red Sox to give Porcello a breather. Boston has had injuries to Eduardo Rodriguez and others paired with general inconsistencies out of their rotation as a whole.

“There are no alternatives.”- Farrell


Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Rumor: Jackie Bradley Jr. Being Shopped For Trade



Red Sox

With the Boston Red Sox looking to acquire a power bat this offseason to keep up with the Yankees they are reportedly shopping a core member of their current team.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today the player Boston is shopping is center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. One potential destination for Bradley is the Chicago Cubs. Chicago has been connected to Boston with slugger Kyle Schwarber potentially being available.

Schwarber has mashing power but has had issues at the plate having a .211 average last season that caused the Cubs to send the home run hitter back to the minors last June.

Bradley who hit 26 home runs two seasons ago fell back to 17 home runs this past season with a .245 batting average. His fielding ability though makes up for any shortcomings he has at the plate and his contract status could be very appealing in the trade market. Bradley Jr. has three years of arbitration remaining on his contract.

If Boston moves on from Bradley the likely scenario of outfield positioning would be moving Andrew Benintendi over to center field keeping Mookie Betts out in right field.

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Boston Red Sox

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Stanton in Pinstripes Edition



MLB Home Run Derby

The snow is now cascading down upon us with indifferent wrath. Today, Boston saw the first real Winter Storm of the impending season. And while you were outside futilely efforting to resist nature, with your shovels and snowblowers, the World of Baseball fractured entirely.

If you haven’t heard by now, you live under the most obscure rock in existence. The New York Yankees have purportedly acquired Giancarlo Stanton from Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. 

Stanton is currently going through the formality of physicals and medical checkups – as if there’s going to be anything physically wrong with this inhuman behemoth.

The Winter Meetings commence tomorrow. It is expected that the trade will be officially announced soon after.

Reports suggest that the Yankees have agreed to eat $265 million of Stanton’s contract, while sending Starlin Castro to Miami along with a couple of low-level pitching prospects.

This was our White Whale, Boston – this one got away and we still ended up dying in the end.

Dave Dombrowski looks like an absolute fool for having let this chiseled new-school Bambino slip through his hands. He immolated the entire pitching crop, down on the farm. So it’s inconceivable that Dombrowski didn’t offer the kitchen sink, in his pursuit of Stanton.

Conversely, underneath the surface, Giancarlo’s mind might have been irrevocably made up, before talks even started. He’s a city-slicker. Miami nightlife translates better to Big Apple nightlife than it does to the half-revelry of the Boston Commonwealth.

The Yankees obtain Giancarlo Stanton, presupposing the implications for the Red Sox and fans alike. It’s with a heavy heart that I unfortunately welcome you to a familiar and antique era of Red Sox Baseball. It’s the late 90’s all over again…

But, you know what? Let’s try to make light of this nonplussing news! Yeah, we don’t need Giancarlo Stanton and those Damn Yankees still won’t win the World Series! It’s time for another installment of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Do Not Need To Get A Big Bat



Red Sox

Many have stated their wishes that the Boston Red Sox will go out and get a big-time bat for the heart of their order. A bat that they seemingly need to help protect the likes of Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez in the lineup. One of the bigger names connected to the team is Giancarlo Stanton, but reports show that idea as a longshot with Stanton not looking at Boston as a possibility.

Another name, Jose Abreu, is also reportedly out of the running with Ken Rosenthal reporting that the White Sox will not trade their slugger before the start of the season. With the potential list shortening with JD Martinez and Eric Hosmer leading the running, maybe Boston should sit still this offseason.

That is sort of a controversial take, but the notion of Hosmer or Martinez doesn’t get the juices flowing, and ultimately will cost the Red Sox more then they are worth.

So what is the answer, Boston still needs a first basemen for next season. A position that could be filled with Sam Travis and Hanley Ramirez given the idea that Dustin Pedroia will find some time at the DH spot next season with Eduardo Nunez getting some quality time at second base. Another possibility is Rafael Devers not panning out at third base and needing to move to first base or DH at times.

Also in the cards is prospect Michael Chavis who should find himself in AAA Pawtucket at some point next season and maybe in Boston at third base or first. Then comes the possibility of Blake Swihart or my favorite, Bryce Brentz. Both were getting trained at first base with Pawtucket last season and could see reps at first base if Dave Dombrowski opts to not sign a big-time bat.

Of course, these solutions are not as flashy and will not present an immediate threat for Boston in the heart of their order. But betting on the current roster to bounce back at the plate and see an emergence of another young player might be a route to take.

Worse case scenario they get the same amount of production and end up right around 90 wins like they were this past season. But the upside of keeping the financial flexibility going forward while trying out prospects might be the best thing for Boston to do instead of overreacting to fan pressure.

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