Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award after pitching admirably for the Boston Red Sox in 2016, but he won’t be making similar contributions this spring in the World Baseball Classic.
Porcello appeared on WEEI’s “Dale, Holley & Thornton” show Thursday and revealed he’s going to forgo the fourth-annual global baseball extravaganza to focus on replicating last season’s success.
“I’m not planning to compete in that at this time,” Porcello said, via WEEI.com. “Knowing the season I had this year, the workload I had, the toll it takes on you, I just feel like if I’m going to give the Boston Red Sox 100 percent best effort and try and go out there and duplicate the workload I put forth this year, I can’t be ready to pitch in competitive games in March.”
Porcello struggled during his debut season with the Red Sox in 2015, and he’s not willing to jeopardize all the strides he’s made since then.
“The other thing is the one thing that really worked for me last year was taking spring training extremely slow and just focusing on my delivery and not focusing on the results and really just concentrating on some little things that take some time to develop,” Porcello said. “I think I would be sacrificing that opportunity by competing in the World Baseball Classic. My loyalty is first and foremost to the Boston Red Sox and that’s kind of my focus. I could be completely wrong. I’ve never done it. But I’m not really willing to take the chance of not preparing well enough to have a good season for the Red Sox.”
While Porcello plans on skipping the WBC, the Red Sox are expected to be represented in the tournament by Eduardo Rodriguez (Venezuela), Sandy Leon (Venezuela), Xander Bogaerts (Netherlands) and Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic). David Price hasn’t committed to playing, although he is listed on Team USA’s preliminary roster.
Thumbnail photo via Neville E. Guard/USA TODAY Sports Images