The Boston Red Sox have some seriously big names in their starting rotation as we approach the 2017 MLB season. There is the big-name offseason acquisition. There will be the big name free agent who signed a year ago. Then we have the reigning AL Cy Young award winner. We also have a former top prospect who has bounced around between a few teams but showed some solid potential last season as he has reached a prime age. And finally, there is the knuckleballer who got off to an extremely strong start a season ago before battling injury.
So who exactly are these five men? Well, that is what we are here to discuss! Keep on reading for a closer look at the projected 2017 rotation for the Boston Red Sox as they look to defend their AL East championship as they try to reach the World Series.
- Chris Sale, LHP – This Winter’s biggest trade piece traded in his white socks for some red ones. Chris Sale now finds himself wearing a Boston uniform, and Red Sox fans have to be excited to see his name penciled in atop their starting staff. Sale is coming off a 17 win campaign in which he sported a 3.34 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 233 strikeouts over the course of 226 and two-thirds innings. Sale has been an absolute stud and workhorse for the White Sox over the course of the last five seasons and he is just entering his prime age of 28 season. Red Sox fans should expect no less than the numbers listed above from Sale in his first season in Beantown.
- David Price, LHP – A year ago, Price was in Sale’s shoes. He was the team’s big offseason acquisition, and big things were expected from the tall lefty. Unfortunately for Price and the Sox, things did not go according to plan. While Price did win 17 games, his 3.99 ERA was a lot higher than the team was banking on. He still had his strikeout pitches going though, as he sat down 228 men in 230 innings. Now having a full year in Boston under his belt, the team and its fans will hope for a step forward in year two.
- Rick Porcello, RHP – How often do you find a Cy Young award winner listed as a team’s number three? Not very often. But when it comes to name recognition, Sale and Price still outweigh Porcello, who only has one real good year to his name. But that one year happened to be last season, and man did Porcello deliver. He had 22 wins to his name, seven more than any other season for the righty, along with a 3.15 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 189 strikeouts in 223 innings. While I would not bank on a full repeat, at 28-years-old, it is entirely possible that the former top prospect for the Detroit Tigers finally had it all click.
- Drew Pomeranz, LHP – Speaking of former top prospects hitting the prime of his career, Drew Pomeranz will look to build off the best season he has had in his pro career. 2016 saw Pomeranz post a 3.32 ERA while striking out 186 batters in 170 and two-thirds innings in his first season as a full-time starter. After spending the beginning of the year in San Diego with the Padres, Pomeranz came to Boston via the trade. While Pomeranz had a solid year on the whole, he did struggle once being acquired by the BoSox, so the Red Sox will hope for a turnaround in 2017.
- Steven Wright, RHP – The 32-year-old knuckleballer came out of nowhere in 2016. After starting nine games with an ok stat line in 2015, Wright blossomed into an All-Star in 2017. In 24 starts, which would have been more if it was not for shoulder issues, Wright threw to a 3.33 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and struck 127 men in a little under 160 innings. The Red Sox will hope he is back to full strength come Spring Training, which he appears to be on track to be, as he will help round out this talented staff. If any sort of injury issues crop up along the way, Joe Kelly or Eduardo Rodriguez are likely to be next in line.
How do you see the Boston Red Sox starting rotation shaking out for the upcoming 2017 MLB season? Tell us in the comments!
And for more on the Sox, be sure to check out their projected 2017 starting lineup as well, which you can find here.