Rick Porcello has some advice for J.D. Martinez — and he speaks from experience.
The Red Sox pitcher joined Rob Bradford’s most recent “Bradfo Sho” podcast to discuss, among other topics, Boston’s reported agreement with Martinez, who was Porcello’s Detroit Tigers teammate in 2014.
Porcello had glowing things to say about Martinez, noting how the outfielder overcame being released by the Houston Astros early in his career to transform himself into “arguably one of the best right-handed power hitters in the game.”
“There’s something in there that shows the resilience and mental toughness and … the fortitude to overcome that stuff,” Porcello said of Martinez, via WEEI.com.
But what about the challenges of playing in Boston? After all, fellow Red Sox pitcher David Price noted Martinez should expect to get booed if he doesn’t meet expectations.
Porcello, it seems, has a different take on playing at Fenway Park.
“It’s honestly a pleasure playing in Boston,” he said. “Yeah, there are tough times — if you’re not playing well, you’re going to hear about it.
“But what’s wrong with that? Who doesn’t want to hear about it? Because when you are playing well it feels like you’ve got the entire world behind you, and that’s all you can ask for as a player. That’s fair.”
Porcello would know. The right-hander struggled mightily in his first season with Boston, posting a 9-15 record and 4.92 ERA in 2015 after inking a four-year, $82.5 million contract extension that April. After an offseason of criticism, though, Porcello rebounded in a monster way, going 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA to win the American League Cy Young Award.
Martinez reportedly has agreed to a five-year deal with an opt-out after the second or third year, so he may go through similar ups and downs. But according to Porcello, the ride is worth the occasional rocky terrain.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images