Before this season began, both the Yankees and the Red Sox acquired young right-handers whom they hoped would provide long term help for their starting rotations. Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello both had histories of early-career struggles, but both of them clearly had positive upsides, which was cause for a lot of optimism, for fans and personnel of both teams.
Eovaldi, 25, and Porcello, 26, each took the mound yesterday in games whose outcomes were very important in this year's extremely tight AL East. Eovaldi kept the Angels scoreless, giving up five hits in 5.1 innings, while Porcello gave up seven runs, including three home runs, in just two innings pitched against the Blue Jays.
Eovaldi is 8-2 this year with a 4.52 ERA. Porcello is just 4-9 with a 6.08 ERA. Going into the season, the pitcher to bet on would have been Porcello, whose career up to that point was a bit more successful than Eovaldi's. The Red Sox apparently thought the same, giving him a four-year contract extension worth $8.25 million, with a $500,000 signing bonus. Eovaldi's reputation consisted largely of being the pitcher who gave up the most hits in the NL last year.
Granted, some of Porcello's troubles are due to his team's offense, which has been less than stellar this season. But a 6.08 ERA doesn't lie. On the flip side, Eovaldi has received his fair share of run support this season. However, his 4.52 ERA is very respectable in this day and age.
Of course, I'm not saying that Eovaldi will go on to be one of the best pitchers the Yankees ever had. Neither am I saying that Porcello will continue to be a bust for the Red Sox. But so far, the Yankees have had better luck. For the Yankees sake, I hope that this luck will continue.
Now watch, Porcello will dominate the Yankees in Boston next weekend, while Eovaldi won't make it out of the first inning. You can't predict baseball.