Reigning American League Rick Porcello‘s Loyalty Lies With The Boston Red Sox And Not Pitching In WBC
Boston Red Sox Ace Rick Porcello pitched a simulated game on Sunday and is starting to feel good, but with the World Baseball Classic looming he wanted to make it clear that he couldn’t pitch in it and his loyalty remains with being ready for the Red Sox.
“I mean, I wouldn’t be ready to compete in a game in the WBC,” Porcello said. “I feel really good right now, but that’s just a different type of pitching. Our responsibilities, at least me, my responsibility is with the Red Sox and being sure that I’m ready to go here. I think that that at least in my head would take away from some of the preparation I want to go through.
“If I want to work slow and focus on my fastball command for an extended period of time, you’re not necessarily going to be able to do that when you’re competing in a game and I’ve got Miguel Cabrera at the plate with second and third and one out. I’m not going to just serve up some fastballs to him. There are definitely some guys that are capable of doing it. Right now, at this stage for me, I couldn’t really fathom pitching in a competitive game like that. Not that I’m going through the motions in spring training games, but it’s different.”
Porcello is on track to pitch on Opening Day after a scheduled six exhibition starts which is allowed to him due to the extended spring training granted by the WBC even though he is not playing in it.
“Yeah, that’s a benefit to us, I think,” he said. “The more time you have, you can work a little bit slower and take some more time to focus on some little details that maybe if you’re rushing through your preparation for the season you might not have an opportunity to pay attention to as much. You just look at it as an opportunity to get some more work in and continue to refine things.”
The WBC has been a controversial topic in baseball with players having to change up their normal Spring Training routine in order to play in the WBC and sometimes this causes injuries or weariness when they come back and play for the team that actually pays them.
In total, four Red Sox major leaguers will play in the tournament: Eduardo Rodriguez (Venezuela), Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic), Fernando Abad (Dominican Republic) and Xander Bogaerts (Netherlands). E-Rod is the scary part of the four with the pitcher suffering a knee injury in 2016 and hasn’t really solidified himself as a major league starter as his young career has been plagued with setbacks.
Either way you look at it for fans it allows us to watch competitive baseball earlier than normal, but like Porcello said, you are often not ready for that level of play this early and that can cause a lot of problems. Leave your thoughts on the WBC in the comment section below.