BOSTON (CBS) — The addition of David Price to the Red Sox pitching staff brought with it heaps of optimism for 2016. But the reality is that outside of Price, the rotation is still full of question marks.
That includes a big one in Rick Porcello, who was touched for eight runs on 10 hits in three innings against the Rays on Sunday. While specific results aren’t necessarily what pitchers are looking for in spring training, the fact that Porcello has as 16.20 ERA in his two starts is at the very least eye-catching.
“I don’t like the line, but it’s a work in progress, and clearly I’m not where I want to be yet,” Porcello said after the 13-5 loss to the Rays.
On Monday morning, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe joined Toucher & Rich (with Dan Roche filling in for Fred) and was asked if there’s reason for concern with the rotation.
“I don’t know how much confidence I had in that group before this, so I don’t think it’s that surprising that they’re not looking that good,” Abraham said, adding in the injury to Eduardo Rodriguez. “When you get past David Price, there are a lot of question marks.”
It’s not Porcello’s spring struggles that have Abraham most concerned.
“The biggest concern for me is Rodriguez, because he hasn’t pitched at all in spring training. This is the guy with the most upside of that group, the guy who could become the second or third-best starter, and we haven’t seen him. Now the Red Sox say this is not a long-term issue, he should be back pretty soon, but it’s clear now that he won’t start the regular season. When that is the case and he doesn’t any kind of basis in spring training, I think it’s a big cause for concern.”
Abraham said the same concerns exist for Clay Buchholz, who hasn’t made it healthy through a full season in a long time.
That being said, Porcello’s going to need to pitch better before in the spring before anyone thinks he might be poised for a bounceback year.
“With Porcello, yesterday was alarming, to give up seven consecutive hits in a spring training game against a split-squad team, not to be able to get out of more than three innings. And they weren’t cheap hits; they were all good hits. So that was, I think if you’re the Red Sox, a pretty alarming sign. He needs to start showing something in these next three starts that he has before the start of the season.”
Listen to the full interview below: