FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The big three that has been talked about for weeks turned into a visual image Friday at the Fenway South complex, and it was one to behold for a Red Sox fan.Side by side by side as they threw their side sessions were Chris Sale, Rick
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The big three that has been talked about for weeks turned into a visual image Friday at the Fenway South complex, and it was one to behold for a Red Sox fan.
Side by side by side as they threw their side sessions were Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price.
What will be even sweeter is when they pitch on three consecutive days against another team -- be it April, October or any of the months in between.
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"Yeah, absolutely," said Porcello, the American League's reigning Cy Young Award winner. "Just watching bullpens and playing catch with those guys, it's a lot of fun. And talking pitching with both of those guys and seeing them work, this is going to be a really good rotation to be a part of and I'm excited about it."
In four days, Spring Training will start for real as the Red Sox hold their first official pitchers/catchers workout Tuesday. But over the past few days, the big three has already started to develop a bond that should turn into healthy competition.
Porcello observed a similar dynamic in Detroit when he pitched in a rotation that also included Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Price. But now he's part of the upper echelon. And he thinks that the dynamic in which star pitchers push each other to greater heights is real.
"I think the easiest way to explain it is you just a build a momentum," said Porcello. "The guy who throws the first game, if he goes out and pitches well and the second guy pitches well, everybody can feel that. You're excited to be the third guy, the fourth guy and the fifth guy to carry that momentum. Nobody wants to be the guy that goes out there and gives it up and stops that roll you're on.
"It's definitely a feel of momentum. You're always focused, but maybe that little thing that happens just gives you an edge or pushes you to not be the guy to give it up, I guess."
Manager John Farrell will ultimately be the one who decides which of these aces should pitch Opening Day on April 3 at Fenway Park against the Pirates. Sale and Price are on record as saying that Porcello deserves it based on last year.
"That definitely means a lot to have the respect of your peers, especially two guys as talented and capable as them and guys who have started Opening Days throughout the course of their careers," said Porcello. "Again that's not my decision and I'm just focused on working hard and preparing for the season."
How good will Boston's rotation be?
"I think everyone thinks it's going to be one of the best," said catcher Sandy Leon. "All three can be No. 1 pitchers on any team."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and **Facebook**.