Baltimore Orioles Renewed Starting Rotation Gives O’s Hope In AL East

SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Pitcher Andrew Cashner
SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Pitcher Andrew Cashner /
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2. Boston Red Sox

Starting pitchers: Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Drew Pomeranz*, Eduardo Rodriguez*, Steven Wright*, Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez

Yes, there are question marks here. Porcello was not good in 2017. Pomeranz, Rodriguez, and Wright are all hurt. Price has dealt with injury issues.

Of course, Sale is one of the best pitchers of the generation. He generates more strikeouts than nearly anyone else in history. He has a career ERA under 3, including a 2.90 ERA in 2017. He is a six-time All-Star, in the last six seasons. He has been n the top six for the Cy Young in the American League in the previous six seasons.

Price was not fully healthy in 2017, but he is now. Even so, his numbers in 2017 were not much different from his career numbers, just with fewer games pitched.

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Porcello, notably, went from the 2016 season as a Cy Young winner and with the most wins in baseball, to the most losses in the game. He allowed the most hits and home runs of any pitcher in the American League. His 2015 was also not good. So, which Porcello will show up in 2018? One would expect something in between, closer to his career numbers of 15-12 with a 4.25 ERA.

Pomeranz has a flexor strain in his throwing arm and will miss significant time. Which hurts the Red Sox, coming off a 17-6 season and a 3.32 ERA.

Rodriguez continues to deal with knee concerns, something that has plagued him his entire career, and likely will continue to. He is expected to make his first start in April, but when is still a bit up in the air.

Wright is also recovering from knee surgery, and also could be suspended for an off-the-field issue. After only pitching in five terrible games for the Red Sox in 2017, his future is up in the air.

Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez will fill in until these three can return to the team.

Velazquez, 29, made three starts in 2017, and Johnson has made six starts in his career, five of those in 2017. Small sample sizes for both, but both will be needed to step in and help the back-end of the Red Sox’ rotation.