Boston Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello wants harsher penalties for players who test positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Porcello explained his position to Christian Red of The New York Daily News.
To start, the pitcher criticized the MLB for letting players who are appealing suspensions continue to appear in games. Porcello said those games played during appeal could have major impact on a season.
“In 2009, it came down to Game 163 for us, and with the two wild cards and all the teams that are competitive this year, one game could mean the difference,” Porcello said. “We play 162 games and you have a lot of time to separate yourself. But if you're that evenly matched, and it comes down to one game, and somebody who tested positive hits a three-run home run against you, or throws seven shut-out innings or closes the game, that's impacting your season.”
Porcello also told the Daily News he would be in favor of a lifetime ban after the first PED offense. Currently, players are given a lifetime ban if they test positive for PEDs three times.
Porcello, using the example of Jenrry Mejia, said the current system may not be enough of a deterrent.
“I'm all in favor for (stiffer penalties). Obviously what's going on right now is not preventing guys from doing it," Porcello told the Daily News. “This year, there's a guy that literally tested positive three times. That's obviously not effective. I'm all in favor for a much, much more severe punishment or a lifetime ban. At the end of the day, it's looking like that's the only thing that's going to keep guys from doing it. If that ever happens, we'll find out if that's even enough. There's no right or wrong answer right now, but I think there at least needs to be some adjustments for sure.”
Porcello made his 19th start of the season for Boston on Tuesday. He entered the start with an 11–2 record and 3.66 ERA.
MLB’s collective bargaining agreement with the MLBPA expires after this season.