Sunday, February 24, 2013
Spring could decide Porcello's fate
By Doug Mittler
The Detroit Tigers have the rare luxury of a starting pitching surplus (if there is such a thing), leaving Rick Porcello as possible trade bait.
If the Tigers’ starting pitchers stay healthy, GM Dave Dombrowski could very possibly trade Porcello, writes Lynn Henning of the Detroit News. Drew Smyly, Porcello's primary competition for the role of fifth starter, is the lone southpaw in the rotation and therefore more likely to stay. Henning says a deal is more “achievable” at the end of spring training, when teams are willing to deal.
The Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres were among the teams linked to Porcello earlier this offseason.
The Tigers have the flexibility to move the 24-year-old Porcello following the re-signing of free agent Anibal Sanchez, but FanGraphs' Dave Cameron suggests the club should consider keeping Porcello around as rotation depth and insurance.
ESPN Insider Keith Law scouted Porcello's first outing of the spring on Friday against the Atlanta Braves:
Keith LawPorcello's stuff
"Rick Porcello sat at 92 mph and touched 94 in his two-inning stint as Detroit's starter, throwing mostly fastballs; the pitch didn't have a lot of life, but he was around the zone with it. His 76-78 mph curveball had good depth and some angle with an 11-to-5 break, with one hanger that he got away with, and his changeup at 83-84 had good fading action...If the three-pitch mix he showed Friday is what he'll use going forward, junking the slider, there's still some hope here that he can at least make his ERA line up with his peripherals, even if it doesn't quite measure up to the impressive raw stuff he had out of high school."