BOSTON (CBS) — It’s official: Rick Porcello will toe the rubber when the Red Sox open their 2017 season in 19 days.

Boston manager John Farrell announced his decision on Wednesday, choosing the reigning AL Cy Young winner over the newly acquired Chris Sale. It was a decision Farrell said he made at the start of Spring Training, and Porcello has known for some time that he’d be getting the nod against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Fenway Park on April 3.

“I think there’s a lot to be said for the year Rick has had previous, the leader that he’s become on our team and the dependable pitcher that he is,” Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday.

This will be the first Opening Day start of Porcello’s career, after the righty went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 2016.

Farrell said that Chris Sale will get the start in Boston’s second game of the season two days later, but the rest of the rotation remains TBD. With David Price likely beginning the season on the disabled list, it’s lined up for lefty Eduardo Rodriguez to start the third game of the season, with knuckleballer Steven Wright and lefty Drew Pomeranz likely getting the ball when Boston travels to Detroit for their second series of the season.

[graphiq id=”e5gbpXeyxLf” title=”Rick Porcello 2016 Complete Pitching Splits” width=”600″ height=”750″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]


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