More to know on Miley, Porcello, Masterson

By now you might think you know all you need to know about the Boston Red Sox’s three newest starting pitchers.

In Wade Miley, Rick Porcello and Justin Masterson, the Red Sox are getting a trio of inning-eating, worm-killing, under-30-year-old arms that, when calculated with projected arbitration salaries, will earn less combined than the average annual value of the six-year, $155 million deal that Jon Lester signed with the Chicago Cubs.

But that’s not all there is to know about these three hurlers. So we provide some fun facts about Miley, Porcello and Masterson for you to put to good use at the water cooler Monday morning when you’re asked your thoughts on the Red Sox’s new-look rotation.


A True All-Star: When Miley was selected to the National League All-Star team in 2012, it wasn’t just because he was the only member of the Arizona Diamondbacks worthy. In the first half of that season, Miley went 9-5 with a 3.04 ERA, ranking him 14th among NL pitchers with 10 games started up until that point in the season. His 1.09 WHIP at the time was seventh in the league, the result of a low base on balls per nine inning rate (1.88) that had him ranked right behind some guy named Cliff Lee (1.85).

Miley’s numbers dropped to 7-6 with a 3.64 ERA in the second half of that season, although most of the damage came in a disastrous September (5.90 ERA) that could most likely be attributed to a boost in innings pitched (25 more) from the previous season.

The (almost) Rookie of the Year: In recognition of his efforts during the 2012 season, Miley received 12 first-place votes for NL Rookie of the Year; he fell just seven points shy of eventual winner Bryce Harper for the award. The decision is among the most controversial in recent years, as Harper had been a midseason call-up while Miley performed well at the major-league level from the start of the season.

Harper’s margin of victory over Miley is the closest in the award’s voting over the last seven years.

Feats from Down Under: With the Diamondbacks last season, Miley served as Opening Day starter opposite the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in the league’s season opener played at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia.

Despite the neutral ground, Arizona was designated the home team for the game, meaning Miley took the mound first. He struck out Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig on three pitches to start the game, registering the first major-league regular-season strikeout on Australian soil.


Bonus baby: In his high school days at Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange, New Jersey, Porcello had scouts drooling over his potential on the mound. Ranked as the top high school prospect in the country entering the 2007 draft, Porcello had signed a letter of intent to play at the University of North Carolina, although he indicated to teams that he would like to start his professional career. However, the team that drafted him would have to pay, and he hired super agent Scott Boras as an advisor to ensure this (relax Red Sox fans, Boras is not his current agent).

As a result, many teams passed on Porcello in the draft, with the Detroit Tigers selecting him with the 27th pick. Boras worked his magic on the Tigers, getting them to sign Porcello to a four-year, $7.28 million major league contract with an additional $3.85 million signing bonus.

At $11.1 million, the total value of the deal made Porcello the highest-paid high schooler in the sport’s history.

Lights out in May: For whatever reason, Porcello consistently has proven himself to be a dominant pitcher during the month of May. Over his six-year major league career, Porcello has gone 18-7 with a 3.23 ERA in May, compared to 58-56 with a 4.53 ERA in all other months combined.

In his 2009 rookie season, Porcello went 5-0 in five May starts as a 20-year-old, becoming the first pitcher age 20 or younger to win five starts in a row since Dwight Gooden won seven in a row in 1985.

Mr. 300?: It’s a long shot, but considering Porcello’s 76 wins at the age of 25 (he turns 26 in December), there’s a remote possibility Porcello could become a 300-game winner. If the right-hander were to average 15 wins over the next 15 seasons -- bringing him through his age-40 season -- he would be able to claim that honor.

Much easier said than done, but it’s feasible enough for numbers to rationalize.


Red Sox killer: Having been traded by the Red Sox to the Cleveland Indians as part of the Victor Martinez deal back in 2009, Masterson always seemed to save his best stuff for when he was facing his former team.

He pitched the first shutout of his professional career against Boston on June 9, 2010.

Then, on Aug. 4, 2011, Masterson committed one of baseball’s rarer feats against the Red Sox. In the bottom of the second inning, Masterson struck out Josh Reddick swinging before a wild pitch allowed Reddick to reach first on the play. He then proceeded to strike out Jason Varitek, Marco Scutaro and Jacoby Ellsbury -- all swinging -- to end the inning, making him one of 68 pitchers in major league history to strike out four batters in a single inning.

Then, on June 2 last season, Masterson recorded 10 strikeouts against the Red Sox, including a fourth inning in which he struck out Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore and Stephen Drew on nine pitches, thus recording what is called an “immaculate inning.” Only 72 pitchers in major league history have accomplished that feat.

Ace-caliber?: The burning question in Red Sox Nation is whether the team needs a true ace pitcher to match up against the league’s other elite starters. Perhaps the Sox found one in Masterson.

In 2013, Masterson, the Indians’ Opening Day starter, defeated Toronto Blue Jays ace R.A Dickey to earn his first win of the season. Dickey, traded to Toronto from the New York Mets in the offseason, had just come off an NL Cy Young season. In his next start, Masterson defeated Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price for his second win of the season. Price was named the AL Cy Young winner the season prior. In doing so, Masterson became the third pitcher in major league history to beat both reigning Cy Young winners in the same season, and the first to do so in his first two starts of the season. Sure sounds like an ace to us ...

Consummate good guy: Here’s something you probably already know about Masterson: He’s a really good guy. Masterson, along with his wife Meryl, is involved in a number of charitable organizations. When he was traded last season from Cleveland to the St. Louis Cardinals, Masterson’s Indians teammates all donned his trademark high-sock style in their next game to honor what he meant to the team. And, even though he was largely ineffective on the mound for the Cardinals, Masterson did help teach now-former Cardinal Shelby Miller his sinkerball grip.

In his conference call with Red Sox reporters Friday evening, Masterson ended the call by saying, “Good job” to Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.

Oh, and if you haven’t heard, Meryl apparently makes the best cookies. Just ask Red Sox broadcasters Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy.