Porcello pleased with location in first spring start

Porcello pleased with location in first spring start

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- He's changed uniforms, but nothing has changed the way Rick Porcello approaches his craft.

The Red Sox acquired Porcello from the Tigers during the Winter Meetings in December in a trade that dealt Yoenis Cespedes to Detroit. The 26-year-old right-hander made his Grapefruit League debut Sunday for the Red Sox, allowing one unearned run on four hits with two strikeouts in a three-inning outing against the Mets at Tradition Field. He threw 41 pitches, 30 for strikes.

"I was pleased with the amount of strikes I threw," Porcello said. "Most of my misses were around the plate. As far as fastball, curveball, four-seamer and sinker, they were working really well. The changeup was a little iffy. I started to feel a lot better with that in the third inning. Overall, it felt very good."

The Red Sox were looking to bolster their starting rotation in the offseason and Porcello is a big addition after pitching in the shadows of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer the past few years.

"He's been very open about how much he learned from Scherzer and the conversations they had. Those are invaluable," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Porcello. "He's all business and I think that's commendable."

Porcello was 15-13 with a 3.43 ERA last season for the Tigers, both career-best stats. He also topped 200 innings for the first time since making his MLB debut in 2009. He retired all six hitters he faced Tuesday in an exhibition game against Northeastern University and looked sharp again Sunday despite the Mets collecting two hits in each of the first two innings against Porcello, who then retired the side in order in the third before calling it a day.

"They were swinging early, and usually this time of year in Spring Training you tend to see that," Porcello said. "They know that pitchers are going to be throwing fastballs and they want to get a fastball to hit. I was prepared for that. I wasn't going to go away from my game plan just because they were swinging."

Farrell said he increasingly is impressed with the manner that Porcello approaches the game on a daily basis.

"He's been fun to watch. His routine has got precision to it," Farrell said. "We've got a young guy who's very mature and we're fortunate he's here. As we get to know him, there's consistency from day to day how he goes about his work, how he lives his life, and I don't think those things happen by chance. They happen because he's a very routine-oriented person."

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.