New York Mets: No patience for this version of Rick Porcello
By Tim Boyle
Rick Porcello has missed in his first two starts with the New York Mets. How much more patient can we be?
Two starts into his New York Mets tenure and already I’m growing tired of seeing Rick Porcello with this ball club. His debut was nightmarish and his second performance was pretty rough, too.
Porcello came to the Mets this winter as one of the guys meant to help replace Zack Wheeler. I’m not sure anyone expected him to perform as well as Wheeler. The more optimistic of us did think he would do more than he has so far.
Including his first two Mets starts, Porcello now owns a career 4.39 ERA. It’s not exactly what teams are looking for when adding to their rotation. It’s what you might want from a number five starter, not a guy who slotted in as the number three to begin the year.
Circumstances pushed Porcello further ahead into the rotation. A late injury to Marcus Stroman days before Opening Day 2020 elevated Porcello into a more vital role with this ball club.
Sadly, Porcello has not come close to living up to even mediocre expectations. He has yet to record more than 16 outs in either start leading many of us to lose our patience with him very early on into his time in New York.
Pitching has been the biggest weapon for the Mets during the last decade or so. Even during their weaker seasons at the beginning of the 2010s we can find some solid seasons from the pitchers. Because of this, expectations are quite high for anyone who finds himself in this franchise’s starting five.
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Porcello was a curious addition in the winter. Originally signed to a one-year deal worth $10 million, it seemed odd that the Mets would pay him and Michael Wacha. The Mets ended up needing them both at the start of 2020. Unfortunately, Porcello has tossed a pair of stinkers.
I’m not sure what the proper etiquette is with a new starting pitcher. Currently in his 12th big league season, I’m not sure Porcello deserves much of a leash.
He’s not coming off of an injury or pitching in a tougher ballpark. In fact, switching from the Boston Red Sox to the Mets should theoretically benefit him on the mound.
It hasn’t and I haven’t seen anything to make me think it eventually will.
Still, two starts is not enough to fully pass judgment. Porcello has the time to turn his perception around, but it’s tough to picture a 180-degree turn with only a small number of games left on the schedule.
In a 60-game season, we can expect a starter to make around a dozen starts. This leaves Porcello with only ten chances left to show Mets fans he was a good addition. Just as we all got a bad feeling when Jason Vargas pitched poorly early during his time with the team, my gut tells me Porcello is going to have a rough final ten games in 2020.
Somewhat surprising, Porcello hasn’t been hurt by the home run ball. In his first six innings, he has allowed 9 earned runs but none have come via the long ball. He served up 31 last year and in 2017 led the league with 38 allowed.
Instead of four-base hits, one of Porcello’s biggest killers has been walks. He has averaged one per inning. Combine this with two hits per inning and we’re in a situation where there are three men on base every inning. Only the most clutch pitcher could escape a situation like this with the bases loaded every inning.
I had higher expectations than this heading into the year. I thought Porcello would at least give the Mets a quality start by now. What about going five frames at all?
There’s only so much patience we can afford players in 2020. Mine for Porcello is already blinking with a warning.
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If there’s any consolation, he’s not alone. The Mets’ pitching staff has had a miserable year and he is hardly alone in providing the fans with grief.