Friday, January 26, 2018

Will Conditioning Make Rick Porcello Boston's '1-A' Ace?

(Getty Images)
The Boston Red Sox already have a legitimate #1 ace—Chris Sale. But the battle to be #2—or maybe even #1-A—could be an interesting one in 2018. There are at least a couple of serious candidates for the role. David Price, healthy and coming off a strong final stretch in 2017, could deliver the kind of year his $30 million salary suggests. Drew Pomeranz and his 17 wins last season certainly qualify him for the role. And, Rick Porcello—who, after all, won the Cy Young in 2016—is still young (29) and perhaps in the best shape of his life. writer Lindsay Berra (Yogi's oldest grandchild) recently reported on the extent of Porcello's workout regimen. The article is pretty jock-geeky (e.g., "It begins with a couplet of lower-body pliometrics -- single-leg hurdle hops with changes in direction -- and a core exercise called a bear"), but all-in-all it's an interesting insight into how hard Porcello works to maintain what is a workhorse reputation (an average of just over 30 starts over his nine-year MLB career). Last year, he gave up way too many hits (236) and HRs (38) in his 33 starts. But, a rebounding "Pretty Ricky" might just vault into the 1-A spot.