Monday, March 09, 2009

Three shutout innings for Porcello

Rick Porcello did not dominate the Marlins tonight. He gave up five hits and struck out only one in three innings. One thing he did didn't do though was walk a batter which is kind of a big deal for the Tigers this spring. Former pitching coach Chuck Hernandez lost his job, in part, because Tigers pitchers could not get the ball over the plate last year. Rick Knapp came over from a Twins system which has consistently produced strike throwers. It's pretty clear that the Tigers want to see improvement in that area and it hasn't been happening early in the spring.

Jim Leyland expressed his frustration yesterday after a game in which Tigers pitchers walked ten Yankees in the first five innings.
"Everybody's certainly getting opportunities. It's just a matter of going out, taking the bull by the horns and winning a job. You don't win jobs for anybody when you walk [that many] people in a ballgame. It's tough to win jobs like that. We had that problem all last year with too many walks."
Two of the pitchers responsible for that mess were Nate Robertson (4 walks) and Dontrelle (2). Neither of those two has impressed so far in their battle for the number five spot in the rotation.

If Willis and Robertson continue to struggle, then Zach Miner and Rick Porcello would be next in line if they haven't passed them already. Today was just one game for Porcello but, given that Leyland expressed displeasure with walks just yesterday, it's got to helps his chances. Miner, who has only walked one batter but has given up seven runs in seven innings this spring, goes tomorrow afternoon.


  1. I keep trying to tell myself there's no way Porcello makes the team out of Spring Training. But Willis and Robertson might not give Leyland a choice.

    The idea is certainly gaining steam.

  2. Porcello pitched out of trouble with runners on third, and had 5 groundball outs.
    This is going to be interesting how it all plays out the next 4 weeks.

  3. I'm starting to think he's got a good shot. DD and Leyland have never been afraid to go with young pitchers. I think Perry has an outside shot of sticking too.



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