On Tuesday the Boston Red Sox announced that David Price would be the opening day starter, followed by Clay Buchholz in the number two spot. Starters three-five remain unclear as coach John Farrell has yet to commit to any particular order after Price and Buch.

Just the way guys have thrown,” Farrell said. “Pretty straightforward. You’re looking to get a little bit of a mix and match with type of stuff, obviously with Joe maybe a little bit more power than Rick. But you’re looking to send the guys that are throwing the best and most consistent to lead things off.
— John Farrell

After giving Price the largest contract ever to be handed out to a pitcher it was expected he would be the opening day starter. Buchholz was also a shoe in for the number two just based on the fact that he is the veteran of the staff and is truly the second best starter on the team after Price. Three to five starters are tricky, Eduardo Rodrgiuez was the favorite for the three spot coming into camp but his injury that will put him on the DL to start the season opened up the spot. The three guys who are competing for three-five are Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly, and Steven Wright who is starting with the club due to the Rodriguez injury.

Rick Porcello is an interesting guy as he is the second highest paid pitcher on the team behind David Price with a 4 year $82 million contract. You would hope that he would be the number three guy, but after last seasons horrendous performance with an ERA of 4.92 Porcello is not guaranteed anything on this team despite the $20 million dollar a year price tag that kicked in this season.

He’s capable of better,” said Farrell after his team’s 6-3 loss to the Orioles. “He has shown that. We need Rick to pitch to his strengths, which are continually worked on. He’s working at it to continue to refine it and gain that consistency. We need him to be a little bit more consistent.
— John Farrell

Porcello so far through spring training has shown no signs of improvement having a 9.77 era in the Grapefruit league after giving up 5 runs on 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings in his second to last exhibition game. Spring training numbers don’t mean much as Porcello had a 7.85 ERA in spring training in 2014, but he managed to have his best year in the majors during the regular season.

The numbers are what they are but at this point in my career it’s about getting prepared and doing what I have to do to set myself up to have a quality season for us,
— Rick Porcello

The new policy that team president Dave Dombrowski has put into place for Red Sox coaches is simple, do not thinking of contracts when planning playing time. On top of that policy John Farrell has made it clear that those who are pitching well will be put ahead of those who are struggling. So by that logic Joe Kelly should be the number three starter to start the season.

Rick Porcello may have the Red Sox on the hook for $82 million, but that doesn't mean he will be a top of the rotation arm. If Porcello wants to be a top arm on this team he is going to have to earn it, who knows maybe Porcello will pack his bags and be content with being in the back end of the rotation clearing $20+ million a season.

As of right now the rotation is expected to be:

  1. David Price
  2. Clay Buchholz
  3. Joe Kelly
  4. Rick Porcello
  5. Steven Wright

A rotation projection for mid-season looks like this:

  1. David Price
  2. Clay Buchholz
  3. Eduardo Rodriguez
  4. Joe Kelly
  5. Rick Porcello

The Red Sox are not without options for back ups if someone goes down with an injury, or traded to another team. Rick Porcello will be one of the biggest question marks for this season, but he has the opportunity to redeem himself for last years performance, he can achieve redemption through a simple task of keeping the Red Sox in ball games with average pitching. Yup that's it, all he has to do is just be an average pitcher and Sox fans should be fine with that.

He may be getting $20 million this season, but remember that he will never live up to that price tag as he has been a middle of the road pitcher throughout his entire career. Porcello failed last season because he was forced to try and live up to that price tag. Now that Price is on the team Porcello will have to spotlight taken off of him and he can focus solely on getting outs. Will he be able to succeed though? Boston is a tough place to perform well, especially after big contracts are given out. Money is on Porcello failing.



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