On Friday, May 13, the Blue Jays play the second game of an extended four game set against the Boston Red Sox. Rick Porcello will toe the rubber for the Sox and Ryan Borucki will start for the Blue Jays.
While Blue Jays fans may not appreciate Rick Porcello, as he plays for a rival team, most fans should appreciate his views on umpires and the review system.
In a great interview by Boston.com’s Mark Dunphy, the right-hander spoke on the umpires and review system:
"“The replay [expletive], that’s got to stop… I think umpires can be held more accountable, just as players who aren’t performing are. They get released, sent down, demoted. Any other field is performance-based field. If you don’t do your job well enough they are going to find somebody else, they’re going to find someone else who can do it better.”"
The veteran pitcher may as well have been speaking from the minds of all the fans of major league baseball. Umpiring is highly scrutinized—and sometimes to an unfair degree—but most fans can agree that a higher level of accountability is necessary.
While actually on the field, and not producing great quotes for Boston.com, the righty has been hot recently. In his past two games he has produced two quality starts—in the first allowing two earned runs in a six inning game, and another three earned run, seven inning game.
While Thursday’s starter, David Price, couldn’t hold on to his good month of June, Porcello has been slightly better since the month changed. Through five starts in June, the right-hander pitched to a 3.48 ERA. However, in two starts in July, he has pitched just a little bit better, posting a 3.46 ERA.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
As a whole, though, while the numbers are not flashy overall, the hurler has had just one bad month this season. In six starts in May the pitcher allowed a dreadful 5.35 ERA. However, in April, he held a 2.31 ERA. So, before fans pass judgement on the former Cy Young winner, they should acknowledge that he has actually been better than advertised.
As referenced before, his overall numbers are solid, although not eye-popping. Through nineteen starts this season, Porcello has posted a 3.58 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 1.169 WHIP, and 121 ERA+. As well, he has been worth a decent 2.2 fWAR.
Opposing batters will encounter a sinker, slider, four seam fastball, change-up, and curveball from the former first round pick.
This season the sinker has been featured by the Red Sox starter 31.6% of the time. The sinking fastball is not that fast, posting an average velocity of 90.48 mph. However, the pitch has still produced ground balls at a great rate of 57.5% of balls in play. Although, these grounders have found holes, as the pitch has produced a .295 BAA.
Porcello has used his slider 25.7% of the time this season. The slider, unlike the rest of his pitches, is quite hard, maintaining an average velocity of 86.8 mph. However, the velocity clearly affects the movement, as the pitch offers only minimal drop. Batters have not been able to solve the breaking ball though, as it has allowed a paltry .182 BAA.
The Boston hurler has fired home four seam fastballs 18.2% of the time this season. The heater is not that fast, like the sinker, producing an average velocity of 91.95 mph. The four seamer has limited hits, posting a .214 BAA, but it has been hit hard, allowing a .200 ISOA.
The righty has changed speeds on batters 12.7% of the time this season. The off speed pitch has not resulted in many whiffs, and has been responsible for just 13 strikeouts. As well, in limited usage, the pitch has given up two home runs.
Porcello finishes his repertoire with a curveball that he uses 11.7% of the time. The hook is not that fast, posting an average velocity of 75.58 mph, with decent movement. In limited usage, though, the breaking ball has been poor, maintaining a .333 BAA and .485 SLGA.
Few Blue Jays batters have fond memories of hitting against the New Jersey native. Curtis Granderson has the best numbers, posting six hits in 20 at-bats—only one of these hits was for extra-bases, though. Russell Martin has been dreadful in his career against the starter, managing just five hits, including a home run, in 34 at-bats.
The Blue Jays have struggled against the Boston Red Sox all season long. It seems that Ryan Borucki will be subject to the poor run support menace he has faced in his first few major league starts. The rookie really didn’t need any more obstacles as he will complete his tour of the three best teams in the American League by just his fourth start.