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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello tried to get contract extension done before season

Rick Porcello’s future in Boston remains up in the air as the Red Sox prepare for Opening Day.

The right-hander is scheduled to hit free agency after the 2019 campaign along with teammate Xander Bogaerts. Fellow Sox starter Chris Sale would have been a free agent after the season if he hadn’t signed a six-year, $160 million contract last week.

Porcello tried to join Sale in getting a deal done before Opening Day, but to no avail. The 30-year-old explained to WEEI’s Rob Bradford how his discussions went with the Red Sox brass.

He didn’t say “Management realized that I have no leverage on this matter”, but….

 

QLE Posted: March 28, 2019 at 05:49 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: contract extensions, red sox, rick porcello

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. bfan Posted: March 28, 2019 at 08:33 AM (#5825978)
He does have leverage. If he has expectations in line with his value to the team, based upon his skill-set, for the period after his current contract is up, then the team would have a desire to sign him. His ERA+ the last 2 years comes in at 98 and 102, and he will be 31 when next season starts; whatever an average pitcher on the down-side of the aging curve would be worth is what he should be paid. If a league average pitcher wants a long term deal that would take him into his mid 30's and he wants a raise above his $21 million plus he is now making, maybe it is his expectations that are out of whack.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: March 28, 2019 at 09:01 AM (#5825985)
I used to be convinced that there was a certain type of starting pitcher that was likely to age well in his 30s. These are guys that weren't all that great but were at least consistent, and healthy, the reliable 3rd starter types. Jeff Suppan, Steve Trachsel, Kyle Lohse. Maybe these were the guys that were likely to be healthy enough to benefit from the experience of the added years. Porcello might be a guy like that.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: March 28, 2019 at 09:45 AM (#5826002)
Extensions a year before free agency are almost always for the same AAV or higher, right? It's not surprising that they didn't find enough common ground.
   4. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 28, 2019 at 11:03 AM (#5826061)
HALLELUJAH, THERE IS A GOD.
   5. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: March 28, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5826093)
Rank from least-to-most surprising Cy Young winner. And I don't mean "given the year that they had" I mean "THAT guy won a Cy Young award?!?":

Dallas Keuchel
R.A. Dickey
Rick Porcello
Willie Hernandez
John Denny
Pete Vuckovich
   6. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 28, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5826097)


ETA 12/12/2019

FA IS BROKEN, PORCELLO HASN'T BEEN SIGNED YET!

The headlines write themselves.
   7. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 28, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5826102)
ETA 12/12/2019

FA IS BROKEN, PORCELLO HASN'T BEEN SIGNED YET!


You will never, ever hear me say that. He's worth an NRI. At best.
   8. jmurph Posted: March 28, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5826126)
He's worth an NRI. At best.

Come on, you're like Karl on this one. He's fine! Just a little overpaid.
   9. karlmagnus Posted: March 28, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5826143)
No, I'm the other way on Porcello. He's heading for the HOF. Count the WINS, baby.

Probably as suggested above the bid-asked spread was too great -- at this stage he probably shouldn't get $20 million per. But $60/4 at the end of the season will probably make sense for both sides, Porcello having notched up another 15 wins at an unimpressive ERA+
   10. DanG Posted: March 28, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5826150)
Bill James' current Starting Pitcher rankings. Porcello and others in his range:

28 Mike Foltynewicz 431.0
29 Robbie Ray 429.9
30 James Paxton 428.8
31 Jhoulys Chacin 424.4
32 Rick Porcello 422.6
33 Jake Arrieta 421.6
34 Charlie Morton 420.5
35 Jose Berrios 419.8
36 Dallas Keuchel 419.6
37 Chris Archer 417.2

Few recent pitchers threw as many IP as Porcello through their age-25 season. Those guys are usually way less effective in their 30's.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: March 28, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5826161)
Count the WINS, baby.


And the losses. No current pitcher has gotten as many decisions as Porcello, and it's not particularly close.

Among the active pitchers with the most wins.

Decisions per Innings Pitched

David Price 1 per 8.82
Clayton Kershaw 1 per 9.44
Justin Verlander 1 per 8.44
Max Scherzer 1 per 8.79
Cole Hamels 1 per 9.45
Adam Wainwright 1 per 8.32
Gio Gonzalez 1 per 8.09
Ervin Santana 1 per 8.79
Zack Greinke 1 per 8.73
CC Sabathia 1 per 8.69
Felix Hernandez 1 per 8.98
Jon Lester 1 per 8.6
Johnny Cueto 1 per 8.76
Ricky Nolasco 1 per 8.12

And Porcello 1 per 7.73

   12. jmurph Posted: March 28, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5826172)
And the losses. No current pitcher has gotten as many decisions as Porcello, and it's not particularly close.

He's definitive, SoSH, a man of principle. Doesn't dwell in the world of uncertainty. Men don't dawdle, men make DECISIONS. Good or bad.
   13. DanG Posted: March 28, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5826173)
Few recent pitchers threw as many IP as Porcello through their age-25 season. Those guys are usually way less effective in their 30's.

Pitchers with 1000+ IP thru age-25 season, past 30 years:

Player                IP  WAR WAAERA+  W  L From   To
Felix Hernandez   1388.1 28.6 15.4  128 85 67 2005 2011
Clayton Kershaw   1180.0 32.9 23.6  146 77 46 2008 2013
Madison Bumgarner 1171.0 19.7 10.4  118 85 58 2009 2015
CC Sabathia       1165.1 19.4  8.2  111 81 56 2001 2006
Matt Cain         1095.2 23.6 15.0  125 57 62 2005 2010
Steve Avery       1091.1 12.5  4.0  106 65 52 1990 1995
Alex Fernandez    1088.1 14.0  3.8  109 63 53 1990 1995
Rick Porcello     1073.1 10.5  0.4   97 76 63 2009 2014
Jim Abbott        1061.0 16.8  6.9  109 58 66 1989 1993
Ismael Valdez     1025.0 19.6 11.6  118 61 54 1994 1999
Dontrelle Willis  1022.2 17.2  9.2  111 68 54 2003 2007
Jon Garland       1009.0 10.9  1.2  104 64 61 2000 2005 
   14. bobm Posted: March 30, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5827013)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1871 to 2019, Younger than 26, (requiring From>=1980 and At least 1000 Innings Pitched), sorted by greatest Innings Pitched

                                                                                
Rk                Player     IP From   To   Age   G   W  L    K%  BB% ERA+ BAbip
1    Fernando Valenzuela 1554.2 1980 1986 19-25 210  99 68 20.0% 8.5%  119  .277
2          Dwight Gooden 1523.2 1984 1990 19-25 211 119 46 22.4% 7.2%  125  .287
3        Felix Hernandez 1388.1 2005 2011 19-25 205  85 67 22.0% 7.4%  128  .299
4        Bret Saberhagen 1329.0 1984 1989 20-25 204  92 61 16.2% 4.8%  128  .278
5              Mike Witt 1228.1 1981 1986 20-25 201  71 59 16.0% 8.3%  115  .282
6        Clayton Kershaw 1180.0 2008 2013 20-25 184  77 46 25.4% 8.3%  146  .276
7            Greg Maddux 1174.0 1986 1991 20-25 177  75 64 14.8% 7.7%  108  .293
8      Madison Bumgarner 1171.0 2009 2015 19-25 183  85 58 23.8% 5.6%  118  .293
9            CC Sabathia 1165.1 2001 2006 20-25 185  81 56 19.1% 8.7%  111  .289
10             Matt Cain 1095.2 2005 2010 20-25 171  57 62 19.9% 9.0%  125  .270
11           Steve Avery 1091.1 1990 1995 20-25 179  65 52 16.0% 7.3%  106  .283
12        Alex Fernandez 1088.1 1990 1995 20-25 164  63 53 16.4% 7.7%  109  .285
13         Rick Porcello 1073.1 2009 2014 20-25 184  76 63 14.4% 5.8%   97  .311
14            Jim Abbott 1061.0 1989 1993 21-25 157  58 66 13.4% 8.0%  109  .298
15          Mark Gubicza 1058.1 1984 1988 21-25 163  69 56 15.1% 9.8%  116  .274
16         Roger Clemens 1031.1 1984 1988 21-25 140  78 34 23.5% 6.6%  141  .283
17         Ismael Valdez 1025.0 1994 1999 20-25 176  61 54 17.7% 6.7%  118  .280
18      Dontrelle Willis 1022.2 2003 2007 21-25 162  68 54 17.2% 7.8%  111  .308
19           Jon Garland 1009.0 2000 2005 20-25 181  64 61 12.8% 8.7%  104  .277


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/30/2019.

Age 26 onwards:

                                                        
Rk                Player     IP From   To   Age  GS ERA+
1          Roger Clemens 3885.1 1989 2007 26-44 568  143
2            Greg Maddux 3834.1 1992 2008 26-42 567  140
3            CC Sabathia 2304.2 2007 2018 26-37 353  121
4    Fernando Valenzuela 1375.1 1987 1997 26-36 224   92
5          Dwight Gooden 1277.0 1991 2000 26-35 201  100
6        Felix Hernandez 1269.2 2012 2018 26-32 198  112
7        Bret Saberhagen 1233.2 1990 2001 26-37 193  123
8           Mark Gubicza 1165.0 1989 1997 26-34 178  103
9            Jon Garland 1142.1 2006 2013 26-33 183  101
10             Matt Cain  990.0 2011 2017 26-32 161   93
11       Clayton Kershaw  916.1 2014 2018 26-30 134  180
12             Mike Witt  880.0 1987 1993 26-32 130   94
13         Ismael Valdez  802.1 2000 2005 26-31 138   89
14         Rick Porcello  789.2 2015 2018 26-29 127  106
15        Alex Fernandez  672.0 1996 2000 26-30  99  125
16            Jim Abbott  613.0 1994 1999 26-31  97   88
17     Madison Bumgarner  474.1 2016 2019 26-29  73  134
18           Steve Avery  463.1 1996 2003 26-33  83   88
19      Dontrelle Willis  199.0 2008 2011 26-29  40   69


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/30/2019.
   15. DanG Posted: March 30, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5827036)
Can you show the performance from age 30 onwards?
   16. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 30, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5827039)
Rank from least-to-most surprising Cy Young winner. And I don't mean "given the year that they had" I mean "THAT guy won a Cy Young award?!?":

Dallas Keuchel
R.A. Dickey
Rick Porcello
Willie Hernandez
John Denny
Pete Vuckovich

I would say Lamarr Hoyt is tied for last with Haywood
   17. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 30, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5827042)
Rank from least-to-most surprising Cy Young winner. And I don't mean "given the year that they had" I mean "THAT guy won a Cy Young award?!?":

Dallas Keuchel
R.A. Dickey
Rick Porcello
Willie Hernandez
John Denny
Pete Vuckovich


I might put Mark Davis over all of them..

Career after his Cy Young award season: 11-19, 5.37 ERA, ERA+ of 76
Career before his Cy Young award season: 36-62, 4.00 ERA, ERA+ of 90
   18. Sweatpants Posted: March 30, 2019 at 01:44 PM (#5827043)
Rank from least-to-most surprising Cy Young winner. And I don't mean "given the year that they had" I mean "THAT guy won a Cy Young award?!?":
Denny
Dickey
Keuchel
Porcello
Vuckovich
Hernandez

This was without looking anything up, so I could be way off on these. I thought Denny was a Neagle/Smiley-level pitcher who just had a better big year. Dickey had already been a good pitcher when he won his, and he was distinct in terms of pitching style and personality; he just had a brief peak. I have no mental image of Dallas Keuchel. Porcello was a decent pitcher but nothing special. He was known more for his contract than for anything he did heading into his Cy Young season. Vuckovich had a good year in like 1980 or something, so he wasn't a total nobody. Hernandez was a talented reliever, but he wasn't a Sutter/Gagne/Eckersley who felt like a sensation for a time. If Mark Davis had been listed, he'd have been more surprising than Hernandez (okay, I actually had to look up that Davis really did win one).

Edit: Balboni beats me to the mention of Davis
   19. Dock Ellis Posted: March 30, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5827050)
Pete Vuckovich was in Major League and telling people that Clu Haywood once won a Cy Young is always fun so I'd call that "most surprising."
   20. bobm Posted: March 30, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5827053)
[15]

Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1871 to 2019, For players in the saved report: Pitching Season & Career Finder | Baseball-Reference.com: Results, link: http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/N22ZC, From Age 30 to 99, sorted by greatest Innings Pitched

                                                                                
Rk                Player     IP From   To   Age   G  GS   W   L    K%   BB% ERA+
1            Greg Maddux 2887.2 1996 2008 30-42 443 443 205 134 16.2%  3.7%  129
2          Roger Clemens 2885.2 1993 2007 30-44 436 435 202 112 23.3%  8.6%  137
3            CC Sabathia 1343.0 2011 2018 30-37 216 216  89  65 21.0%  6.9%  108
4        Bret Saberhagen  665.1 1994 2001 30-37 111 111  47  27 16.3%  3.5%  125
5          Dwight Gooden  631.0 1996 2000 31-35 125 107  37  27 14.9% 10.8%   99
6    Fernando Valenzuela  581.1 1991 1997 30-36 122 104  32  37 12.4%  9.3%   93
7           Mark Gubicza  571.2 1993 1997 30-34 125  82  28  44 11.3%  6.8%  106
8        Felix Hernandez  395.2 2016 2018 30-32  70  69  25  27 19.0%  8.8%   88
9            Jon Garland  322.0 2010 2013 30-33  54  54  19  23 14.3%  9.5%   94
10             Matt Cain  274.1 2015 2017 30-32  61  51   9  23 15.2%  8.2%   73
11         Ismael Valdez  220.2 2004 2005 30-31  48  38  16  11  9.5%  7.2%   76
12       Clayton Kershaw  161.1 2018 2018 30-30  26  26   9   5 23.9%  4.5%  142
13            Jim Abbott  113.2 1998 1999 30-31  25  20   7   8  9.7% 10.2%   73
14        Alex Fernandez   52.1 2000 2000 30-30   8   8   4   4 12.2%  7.2%  107
15             Mike Witt   46.1 1991 1993 30-32  11  11   3   3 14.4% 11.0%   73
16           Steve Avery   16.0 2003 2003 33-33  19   0   2   0  8.5%  9.9%   78


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/30/2019.
   21. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: March 30, 2019 at 03:03 PM (#5827059)
I’m not sure why Porcello would be a surprising Cy Young winner. He was a first round pick, a highly regarded prospect (#21 two years in a row at BA) and made 31 MLB starts in his age 20 season. He seems like the kind of guy you’d think would at least contend for a Cy somewhere along the line.
   22. Dock Ellis Posted: March 30, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5827062)
He was also the best high school pitching prospect in the country at one point. He had future Cy Young winner written all over him.
   23. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 30, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5827063)
Pete Vuckovich was in Major League and telling people that Clu Haywood once won a Cy Young is always fun so I'd call that "most surprising."

Well, you just blew my mind.
   24. bobm Posted: March 30, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5827064)
For Single Seasons, From 1980 to 2019, For age 20, sorted by greatest Games Started

                                                                     
Rk                Player GS Year Age  Tm Lg  G  W  L  W-L%    IP ERA+
1          Dwight Gooden 35 1985  20 NYM NL 35 24  4  .857 276.2  229
2            CC Sabathia 33 2001  20 CLE AL 33 17  5  .773 180.1  102
3              Ed Correa 32 1986  20 TEX AL 32 12 14  .462 202.1  102
4          Rick Porcello 31 2009  20 DET AL 31 14  9  .609 170.2  114
5        Felix Hernandez 31 2006  20 SEA AL 31 12 14  .462 191.0   98
6            Rick Ankiel 30 2000  20 STL NL 31 11  7  .611 175.0  134
7         Jose Fernandez 28 2013  20 MIA NL 28 12  6  .667 172.2  176
8       Jeremy Bonderman 28 2003  20 DET AL 33  6 19  .240 162.0   78
9    Fernando Valenzuela 25 1981  20 LAD NL 25 13  7  .650 192.1  135
10          Zack Greinke 24 2004  20 KCR AL 24  8 11  .421 145.0  120
11       Clayton Kershaw 21 2008  20 LAD NL 22  5  5  .500 107.2   98
12             Mike Witt 21 1981  20 CAL AL 22  8  9  .471 129.0  111
13           Steve Avery 20 1990  20 ATL NL 21  3 11  .214  99.0   72
14     Madison Bumgarner 18 2010  20 SFG NL 18  7  6  .538 111.0  131
15       Bret Saberhagen 18 1984  20 KCR AL 38 10 11  .476 157.2  115
16           Jeff DAmico 17 1996  20 MIL AL 17  6  6  .500  86.0   96
17          Jordan Lyles 15 2011  20 HOU NL 20  2  8  .200  94.0   71
18          Oliver Perez 15 2002  20 SDP NL 16  4  5  .444  90.0  107
19             Gil Meche 15 1999  20 SEA AL 16  8  4  .667  85.2  105
20           Jon Garland 13 2000  20 CHW AL 15  4  8  .333  69.2   78
21        Alex Fernandez 13 1990  20 CHW AL 13  5  5  .500  87.2  102
22            Joel Davis 11 1985  20 CHW AL 12  3  3  .500  71.1  104
23            Mark Grant 10 1984  20 SFG NL 11  1  4  .200  53.2   56
24             Jose Rijo  9 1985  20 OAK AL 12  6  4  .600  63.2  109
25            Mark Davis  9 1981  20 PHI NL  9  1  4  .200  43.0   47
26           Hayden Penn  8 2005  20 BAL AL  8  3  2  .600  38.1   69
27           Storm Davis  8 1982  20 BAL AL 29  8  4  .667 100.2  116
28             Matt Cain  7 2005  20 SFG NL  7  2  1  .667  46.1  185
29          Scott Kazmir  7 2004  20 TBD AL  8  2  3  .400  33.1   80
30        Julian Tavarez  7 1993  20 CLE AL  8  2  2  .500  37.0   67
31           Gene Nelson  7 1981  20 NYY AL  8  3  1  .750  39.1   75
32          Tyler Skaggs  6 2012  20 ARI NL  6  1  3  .250  29.1   71
33        Ramon Martinez  6 1988  20 LAD NL  9  1  3  .250  35.2   90
34         Bruce Robbins  6 1980  20 DET AL 15  4  2  .667  51.2   63
35           Mike Soroka  5 2018  20 ATL NL  5  2  1  .667  25.2  117
36           Luiz Gohara  5 2017  20 ATL NL  5  1  3  .250  29.1   89
37           Julio Urias  5 2017  20 LAD NL  5  0  2  .000  23.1   78
38         Edwin Jackson  5 2004  20 LAD NL  8  2  1  .667  24.2   57
39          Dennys Reyes  5 1997  20 LAD NL 14  2  3  .400  47.0  102
40        Hector Fajardo  5 1991  20 TOT ML  6  0  2  .000  25.1   60
41           Greg Maddux  5 1986  20 CHC NL  6  2  4  .333  31.0   74
42            Bob Kipper  5 1985  20 TOT ML  7  1  3  .250  28.0   53
43              Ed Nunez  5 1983  20 SEA AL 14  0  4  .000  37.0   99
44        Taijuan Walker  3 2013  20 SEA AL  3  1  0 1.000  15.0  105
45         Julio Teheran  3 2011  20 ATL NL  5  1  1  .500  19.2   77
46          Jacob Turner  3 2011  20 DET AL  3  0  1  .000  12.2   50
47          Jenrry Mejia  3 2010  20 NYM NL 33  0  4  .000  39.0   85
48           Chad Gaudin  3 2003  20 TBD AL 15  2  0 1.000  40.0  123
49           Jeff Suppan  3 1995  20 BOS AL  8  1  2  .333  22.2   83
50          Mike Hampton  3 1993  20 SEA AL 13  1  3  .250  17.0   47
51            Jeff Juden  3 1991  20 HOU NL  4  0  2  .000  18.0   59
52         Lance Dickson  3 1990  20 CHC NL  3  0  3  .000  13.2   58
53           Don Schulze  3 1983  20 CHC NL  4  0  1  .000  14.0   55
54          Dave LaPoint  3 1980  20 MIL AL  5  1  0 1.000  15.0   66
55       Ryan Feierabend  2 2006  20 SEA AL  4  0  1  .000  17.0  122
56        Edgar Gonzalez  2 2003  20 ARI NL  9  2  1  .667  18.1   97
57       Nick Neugebauer  2 2001  20 MIL NL  2  1  1  .500   6.0   60
58        Brent Knackert  2 1990  20 SEA AL 24  1  1  .500  37.1   61
59            Tom Gordon  2 1988  20 KCR AL  5  0  2  .000  15.2   80
60        Bill Wilkinson  2 1985  20 SEA AL  2  0  2  .000   6.0   33
61          Bryse Wilson  1 2018  20 ATL NL  3  1  0 1.000   7.0   66
62          Kolby Allard  1 2018  20 ATL NL  3  1  1  .500   8.0   34
63       Carlos Zambrano  1 2001  20 CHC NL  6  1  2  .333   7.2   28
64         Ismael Valdez  1 1994  20 LAD NL 21  3  1  .750  28.1  125
65        Pedro Martinez  1 1992  20 LAD NL  2  0  1  .000   8.0  163
66         John Mitchell  1 1986  20 NYM NL  4  0  1  .000  10.0  104
67         Sid Fernandez  1 1983  20 LAD NL  2  0  1  .000   6.0   64
68            Mike Jones  1 1980  20 KCR AL  3  0  1  .000   4.2   37
69         Roberto Osuna  0 2015  20 TOR AL 68  1  6  .143  69.2  159
70         Miguel Castro  0 2015  20 TOT ML 18  0  3  .000  17.2   72
71       Arodys Vizcaino  0 2011  20 ATL NL 17  1  1  .500  17.1   84
72        Yorman Bazardo  0 2005  20 FLA NL  1  0        0   1.2   23
73       Marcos Carvajal  0 2005  20 COL NL 39  0  2  .000  53.0   94
74           Ryan Wagner  0 2003  20 CIN NL 17  2  0 1.000  21.2  252
75   Francisco Rodriguez  0 2002  20 ANA AL  5  0        0        5.2
76        Byung-Hyun Kim  0 1999  20 ARI NL 25  1  2  .333  27.1  100
77          Odalis Perez  0 1998  20 ATL NL 10  0  1  .000  10.2  102
78           Ramon Morel  0 1995  20 PIT NL  5  0  1  .000   6.1  159
79         Johnny Guzman  0 1991  20 OAK AL  5  1  0 1.000   5.0   46
80     Rosario Rodriguez  0 1990  20 CIN NL  9  0        0  10.1   68
81           Rudy Seanez  0 1989  20 CLE AL  5  0        0   5.0  119
82         Miguel Garcia  0 1987  20 TOT ML  2  0        0   2.1   48
83        Scott Garrelts  0 1982  20 SFG NL  1  0        0   2.0   32
84            Dave Beard  0 1980  20 OAK AL 13  0  1  .000  16.0  114


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/30/2019.
   25. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: March 30, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5827084)
Mark Davis is probably it, I'll give a shout out to Steve Stone.
   26. Sweatpants Posted: March 30, 2019 at 05:32 PM (#5827092)
I’m not sure why Porcello would be a surprising Cy Young winner. He was a first round pick, a highly regarded prospect (#21 two years in a row at BA) and made 31 MLB starts in his age 20 season. He seems like the kind of guy you’d think would at least contend for a Cy somewhere along the line.
Sure, but by the time he won the award that stuff was superseded by the fact that he he'd become established as a 90ish-ERA+ starter. His Cy Young season put his career ERA+ at 101, which is where it sits today. It was a surprise when he pitched like that, and in 2019 it's still a surprise.

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