What Rick Porcello needs is an injury

(Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports)
Bill Foley (@Foles74)
Contributing Writer

No need to sugarcoat it, Rick Porcello stinks this year.

You don’t need to know that he is 0-7 with an 8.18 ERA in his last eight starts or that his 6.08 ERA is 97th out of 98 qualified starters in all of Major League Baseball to see that the pitcher is lost.

All you had to do was watch the first inning in Toronto Wednesday. Porcello is a horrible pitcher right now.

Compounding the matters is that because of a contract extension that might seem pretty silly in hindsight, Porcello is due to make more than $20 million per season for the next four years starting next season.

Wow. Ben Cherington must be having some really big buyers’ remorse over that one.
In defense of the Red Sox general manager, though, locking up Porcello long term seemed like a really good idea after the Red Sox traded Yoenis C├ęspedes for in the offseason. Of course, the Red Sox got C├ęspedes in the Jon Lester trade, so Porcello is basically the direct replacement for Lester and his two World Series rings.

Bottom line, the Red Sox need Porcello to live up to his contract. He has to. If not this year, then next year. Dumping him right now isn’t an option, so they must to fix him.

What he needs is an injury.

No, I’m not saying we need to give this guy the Nancy Kerrigan treatment. We’ll save that option for Pablo Sandoval if he doesn’t start to at least pretend to try to field his position.

Porcello needs an injury like the Durham Bulls needed a rainout.

I don’t know, call it a brain cloud, just put this guy on the 15-day disabled list. Give him the full two weeks off, then give him a bunch of rehab starts in the minors. Start in Class A, too.

Among other things, Porcello clearly needs to work on reestablishing confidence in his fastball. Right now his ground-ball-inducing two-seam fastball isn’t working, and his four-seam fastball needs a flight attendant. One of those good-attitude Southwest flight attendants, too, because the flights have been long ones.

Porcello says he isn’t hurt, and he appears to be physically fine. Unlike other players, he seems to give an honest effort every time out, too.

The guy also has a pretty good track record. He logged 200 innings with a 3.43 ERA last year for the Tigers, and his “stuff” definitely passes the eye test.

As crazy as it sounds right now, Porcello has the ability to live up to the contract. He has the ability to contribute in a big way for the Red Sox down the stretch this season.

First, though, he needs a good month or so to get over his brain cloud.