Rick Porcello is a former Cy Young winner. He’s not what he used to be but he’s still displayed brilliance in spikes in 2019. In his Cy Young year, Porcello made 33 starts, fifteen caught by Christian Vazquez, in which he posted a 3.64 ERA with a 4.10 K/BB ratio, and fifteen caught by Sandy Leon, in which he posted a 2.52 ERA with a 8.90 K/BB ratio.
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Let’s ignore today because we always ignore Coors Field. Coming into today, 2019 Rick Porcello has a workaday 4.22 ERA and 4.67 K/BB ratio with Leon behind the plate, but a gruesome 6.79 ERA and 1.54 K/BB ratio with Vazquez catching.
By the way, remember when Porcello stole the headlines with a 7-inning shutout in Target Field? Sandy Leon started at catcher. And then against against the Royals when he was about to do the same but gave up just a solo home run? Sandy Leon started at catcher. In fact, the only blemish on the performance was when Porcello shook off Leon’s sign for the first time all night, leading to a home run by Cheslor Cuthbert to break up the shutout bid.
Alex Cora has addressed the catching conundrum by citing Vazquez’s breakout and saying that the Sox “need his bat in the lineup.” Thanks to the Red Sox offense, Porcello ranks third among qualified MLB starters in run support (Eduardo Rodriguez is first). However, no amount of offense that Vazquez has supplied on Porcello days can justify the repeated disrespect of Sandy Leon’s work calling a game.
The Boston Red Sox need Sandy Leon to be Rick Porcello’s personal catcher.