Honestly, it doesn’t matter who pitches Opening Day.
It gives you an idea of who a team’s best pitcher is, or who they think it is… And in the Red Sox case, there was so much talk about it. Seriously, though, it doesn’t mean much. But luckily, they solved the issue and in this case, they made the right move.
(You’re welcome, Mark Wahlberg fans)
Who should it be? David Price? Rick Porcello? Chris Sale? Welp, David Price is starting the year on the DL, so he’s out of the equation. Pretty Ricky, AKA Porcello, earned a Cy Young Award last season. That’s pretty much enough to warrant an Opening Day start. It doesn’t really matter how good Sale is, he’s the new guy. Tenure matters in these situations. It’s the same reason why Clay Buchholz started Opening Day in 2015, except this is a lot better for the Red Sox than that trainwreck.
It was a good problem for the Red Sox to have. You have three pitchers who are capable No. 1 starting pitchers. Two years ago, the Red Sox had none. That’s progress. Plus, Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz were All-Stars last season. So yeah, this rotation is in pretty darn good shape.
Porcello deserves a lot of credit. Look at how bad his first season with the Red Sox was: the dude had an ERA well over 5.00 before hitting the DL in 2015. But since getting healthy at the end of the year and all throughout his 2016 season, he was one of the best–if not the best–pitchers in the American League. That’s what the Cy Young Award proved, after all.
After Opening Day, the whole Opening Day starter thing is meaningless. And these dudes are gonna be together for a few years, it seems. It has potential to change in coming years…