Which Starting Pitching Storylines Are You Most Looking Forward To?

Which starting pitching storyline are you most looking forward to?

  • David Price

    Votes: 25 25.5%
  • Clay Buchholz

    Votes: 6 6.1%
  • Rick Porcello

    Votes: 9 9.2%
  • Joe Kelly

    Votes: 16 16.3%
  • Eduardo Rodriguez

    Votes: 42 42.9%

  • Total voters
    98

Snodgrass'Muff

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Part two of this series is up where abs breaks down the stories in the rotation. Which one is most interesting to you?

David Price as the ace and his reverse splits?

As you can see in the chart from that article, he has gone from the standard splits of a left-handed pitcher to having reverse splits the past two seasons:
Clay Buchholz and his alternating between half a season of ace-like production and mediocrity?

We will be watching a hodgepodge of items as Buchholz’s 2016 season unfolds. Will he or won’t he return to the DL just as he’s pitching at the elite level like everyone knows he can? Will he remember to bring his old change up to the park again? Will he even remember how to throw his change?
Which Rick Porcello are we going to see?

Porcello started off last season with some solid outings and some really, really poor outings. There would be more bad outings to come. He was finally placed on the disabled list in early August, not to reappear on the mound for Boston until the end of the month. He finished the season well with only one more bad outing when he yielded five earned runs in six innings against Toronto on September 18.
Can Joe Kelly harness his stuff?

Joe Kelly possesses some of the filthiest “stuff” in baseball. He features a 95-mph fastball that had people drooling about his potential. But one of his major problems is that with all of the natural movement, not even he knows the pitch’s final resting place.
Eduardo Rodriguez's continued development.

Rodriguez was acquired in a 2014 trade with Baltimore and became a fan favorite with his first start in 2015after shutting out the Rangers in 7 2/3 IP, earning the win. Like most rookie pitchers, he had some rough outings as well. Pitch tipping was to blame for at least two of them.
Part three will cover the relievers. Part Four will touch on players who might make the club out of spring training as swingmen or might see call ups later in the season.
 

redsox3g2

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Jul 31, 2006
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Why can't I pick Hanley at 1st base? Or Kimbrell?

On a serious note, for me it is Rodriguez developing 1st, just over Kelly. Those are the two more exciting storylines that I am hoping will be positive. Clay's battle to stay healthy/consistent and Porcello's hopeful return are a little more depressing, and (I hope) Price is just a consistent stud so no great storyline to follow.
 

shaggydog2000

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I'm incredibly excited to see what Rodriquez becomes. How he plays this year won't completely define that of course, but the potential to see him take a big step forward, iron out his pitch tipping or consistency issues, and become a solid top 3 starter gets me jazzed up for this season.
 

ALiveH

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David Price for me in a sick twisted way. If he's not great this team will be in a lot of trouble. I'll be watching every start worrying that he'll suck or get injured & if he's awesome I'll be equal parts relieved and happy.
 

bradmahn

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Apr 23, 2010
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I am interested (and hopeful) in seeing Porcello and whether or not his late season success carries over. Price will be fun to watch, as will E-Rod, but if Porcello can prove worthy of his contract the team's outlook in 2017 and beyond improves immeasurably.
 

phenweigh

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Clay. A good and healthy Buchholz is not a likely possibility, but it is a possibility. If Clay puts it together, he turns the top of the rotation into a force that likely makes the Sox pennant contenders.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
It seems like a lot of these posts are variations on a single theme, which is: can one of the four presumptive starters not named David Price emerge as a clear #2? To me, that's the most interesting story going into 2016, though it's not a story about any one of them individually. Buchholz and Rodriguez seem like the most likely candidates, but I wouldn't rule out Porcello or Kelly putting it all together and forcing their way into the role. It's going to be really fun to watch it play out, and all the more fun because we have people like Wright, Owens, Elias and Johnson breathing down the top 5 guys' collective neck.
 

oumbi

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Jun 15, 2006
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Steve Wright. He is not a choice but nonetheless I am looking forward to seeing how he does this year. Will he make the team? Will he be in the bullpen or be moved into a starting role? Will his success last season follow him into the year? Will he improve or fail?

I have lots of questions on his future. His story also interests me because he is an underdog (the poll excluded him), and I love watching knuckleballers.
 

Maximus

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Jul 18, 2005
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This staff still needs a reliable #2. After Price, the rest of the staff are really 3's and 4's. Clay has the stuff but not the head for a #2. DD will try to get a #2 by the trade deadline if no one steps up in short order. Erod's injury doesn't help.
 

JBJ_HOF

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I am interested (and hopeful) in seeing Porcello and whether or not his late season success carries over. Price will be fun to watch, as will E-Rod, but if Porcello can prove worthy of his contract the team's outlook in 2017 and beyond improves immeasurably.
His sinker was absolutely terrible in his late season run, if that isn't fixed then hopes shouldn't be too high.
 

jasail

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I'm with Savin. All the storylines proposed are in essence the same: who emerges behind Price to carry this staff. Of those options, I'm most interested in Eduardo. His story is most interesting to me not only because of his impact on 2016, but how his development sets this team's core up. I'm also interested in seeing how Price impacts him in terms of learning how to pitch and lead a staff. I am hopeful he is a great mentor.
 

Al Zarilla

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This staff still needs a reliable #2. After Price, the rest of the staff are really 3's and 4's. Clay has the stuff but not the head for a #2. DD will try to get a #2 by the trade deadline if no one steps up in short order. Erod's injury doesn't help.
If Clay stopped getting hurt almost every year, I don't think his head would be any issue, would it? Take Madison Bumgarner for example; he's shown a few times a quick willingness to throw them down and challenge a hitter bitching about inside pitches. The one I remember most was with Yasiel Puig. Nobody calls Madbum anything about those except highly competitive or that wild and crazy North Carolina farmboy or something.

My storyline would be about Clay finally putting it all together as a quality #2 guy. Hell, push DP for #1.
 

Mookies Lip Curl

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I have to say all of the young guys, maybe even including Kelly, for the sole reason that this team hasn't developed a successful starter since Clay. Kelly and Eddie came over in trades, to be sure, but it would be so satisfying to know that there exists some semblance of a successful program for taking raw pitching talent and turning them into productive MLB pitchers. They've got one of basically every type of pitcher in development mode between Kelly, Wright (RHP) and E-Rod, Elias, Owens and Johnson (LHP). Hell, even Porcello basically needs to be turned back into a productive major leaguer at this point. A competent staff should be able to do something with all that talent. A great one like the Cardinals or Rays would be able to do even more.
 

oumbi

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Mookies mentioned Wright within the context of being a RHP, which he obviously is. But, I looked at his LHB/RHB splits. It is really a sss, but there was not very much variation between them.
 

Monbo Jumbo

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Wright remains tantalizing, not because knuckleballers are rare, but because knuckleballers who don't walk batters are freaks. It's too bad he didn't get a chance to show some consistency late last season due to injury. I think he has a shot at a firm spot in the rotation by year's end. But I said that last year.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Mookies mentioned Wright within the context of being a RHP, which he obviously is. But, I looked at his LHB/RHB splits. It is really a sss, but there was not very much variation between them.
That's pretty much par for the course, if you look at Dickey, Wakefield, Candiotti, Hough, the Niekros....the biggest normal platoon OPS split in the bunch is Joe Niekro's .660/.715, and if memory serves, Joe didn't rely on the knuckler as exclusively as most knuckleball pitchers. In this as in other ways, the knuckleball is sui generis.
 

Sprowl

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All I'm looking forward to is Not John Lackey.

Buchholz is 30% ace or 70% injury-ridden failure. Porcello is o so hittable, Kelly is a never gonna break through wannabe starter, Elias is a low-rent Wile E. Coyote.

D Wright will be fine (but we've already paid for that).

Where have you gone Edro?
 

Al Zarilla

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All I'm looking forward to is Not John Lackey.

Buchholz is 30% ace or 70% injury-ridden failure. Porcello is o so hittable, Kelly is a never gonna break through wannabe starter, Elias is a low-rent Wile E. Coyote.

D Wright will be fine (but we've already paid for that).

Where have you gone Edro?
You're all encouragement today, or, you were on Saturday. You think Ben's stamp on the team will give us more mediocrity this year then?
 

mwonow

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The story line I'm most looking forward to is "guys not named Price pitch well enough, often enough so that 3, 4, 5 game win streaks are relatively common in 2016."

The one I'm most afraid of is, well, what Sprowl said, with the upshot that 3, 4, 5 game loss streaks are relatively common.

2013 was magic - but aside from 2013, this team has lost 50 more games than it's won since the start of the 2012 season. I'm looking forward to someone emerging as a real #2 and the others providing strong 3-5 pitching, but this feels more like *hope* than *forecast*