According to Rob Bradford of WEEI and Red Sox skipper John Farrell, last year's Cy Young award winner, Rick Porcello, will be Boston's Opening Day starter on April 3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Fenway Park. The 28-year-old Morristown, New Jersey native had a career-year last season, which ultimately ended in him edging out Detroit's Justin Verlander for the American League Cy Young Award. In 2016, Porcello sported a 22-4 record with a 3.15 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 223 innings. Even though Porcello crapped his pants in the playoffs last season, going a mere 4.1 innings, while relinquishing six hits and five earned runs, nobody should forget how incredible he was in the regular season, especially at Fenway Park.
While many were clamoring for Chris Sale to get the nod, he is coming to a new team in a rotation that has three legitimate #1 starters. Sale is far and away the best pitcher in the Red Sox rotation, and may even be the best pitcher in the American League, but it is hard to give him the ball after what Porcello did in 2016.
Some were considering David Price for Opening Day, as he is the highest paid player on the team and could use the confidence booster, but it is a foregone conclusion that Price will land on the DL for at least a couple turns in the rotation because of elbow discomfort suffered in the past couple of weeks. Fortunately, Price has already begun throwing again and could make his first regular season appearance before the calendar turns to May.
All in all, I love this decision by Farrell, which you don't usually hear my saying. Furthermore, after a couple turns in the rotation, nobody even knows what the rotation looks like. Sale is the horse in this rotation, but Porcello deserves this.