Tag:Rick Porcello
Posted on: April 5, 2011 12:03 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/4: Hip hip Jorge!



By Matt Snyder


3 UP

Jorge Posada, Yankees. The former catcher seems to be enjoying himself as a designated hitter. He went deep twice Sunday and then hit his third home run of the season in his first at-bat Monday night. That's a two-day total of three home runs and six RBI in eight at-bats. With a slugging percentage of over .800 and his OPS a robust 1.188, he's off to a good start.

Craig Kimbrel, Braves. Carlos Marmol's K/9 record set last season might be seriously challenged already. Kimbrel struck out all three batters he faced en route to his second save of the season Monday in Milwaukee. He has only seen six batters all year, retired all six, and struck out five of them. That means that in his young major-league career, he has punched out 45 of the 94 batters he has faced. In just 22 2/3 innings, he's struck out 17.9 hitters per nine innings. Marmol's record last season was 16.0. And if you aren't impressed with the numbers or wanna cry small sample size, watch Kimbrel pitch. His stuff is insane.

Alfonso Soriano, Cubs. He's only collected four hits this season, but all four have been game-changers. He had a game-tying RBI single Saturday, a go-ahead home run late Sunday and two big knocks Monday in a Cubs victory. He tied the game with a solo home run in the third and then later singled in an insurance run. Considering Marmol was coming off a blown save and would be throwing his third straight game -- not to mention his penchant for walks -- the insurance was much needed for comfort. Soriano is the poster-child for Wrigley Field boobirds due to his contract, but if he keeps getting big knocks like this, some of that may go away -- at least temporarily.

3 DOWN

Rick Porcello, Tigers. The youngster is looking for a bounce-back campaign after a huge step-back year in 2010. He didn't get off to a good start Monday. The Orioles had little trouble knocking him around the park, as he surrendered nine hits and five earned runs in five innings. A three-run home run by Brian Roberts ultimately did Porcello in, but he simply got hit too hard. Four of the nine hits were of the extra-base variety.

Takashi Saito, Brewers. With the Brewers clinging to a one-run lead and looking to avoid a four-game losing streak to start the season, Saito allowed both Martin Prado and Dan Uggla to take him yard in the eighth. Considering the issues the Brewers have already seen from John Axford, this can't feel nice ... even if there are 158 games left on the schedule.

Albert Pujols, Cardinals. Here's a name you won't find here often. Pujols did score a run after drawing his first walk of the season Monday, but he was held hitless for the third time in four games in this young season. He grounded out to third three times Monday and is now 2-16 (.125 average) with a .176 on-base percentage. I will most certainly not be among those doing so, but it's conceivable to see people start questioning if he's distracted by the contract situation if the swoon continues. Mark my words, someone will do it. And then he'll explode with a seven-homer week.

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Posted on: October 17, 2010 9:36 pm
 

R.I.P. Tigers: Injuries play spoiler


As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions in October. Today: our penultimate entry, the Detroit Tigers.

It was a tale of two seasons in the Motor City in 2010: a first half that was better than expected, and a second half that was worse.

Attrition had a lot to do with it, as injuries thinned the ranks and left Triple Crown candidate Miguel Cabrera exposed in the lineup. But the Tigers had a lot of young talent step up, and ended up feeling about as good as you can feel when you lead the division midway through the season and end up in third place with a .500 record.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Injuries. Bad ones, to important players, at critical times.

Brandon Inge broke his hand, Joel Zumaya his elbow and, most damaging, Magglio Ordonez broke his ankle on a slide into home plate on July 24 and never returned. Plus you had Carlos Guillen straining something twice a month and playing just 68 games. The injuries had a domino effect on the team, as roles changed and opponents started being able to pitch around Cabrera.

The offense and bullpen numbers were middle-of-the-pack, but the starting pitching was subpar, 11th in the AL in ERA.

Miguel Cabrera And this should probably more properly fall under what went right, but Armando Galarraga’s “perfect game that wasn’t” on June 2 ended up as more of a gut punch than a highlight. It was a good symbol of the Tigers’ season: No matter what they did, the breaks seemed to be against them.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Cabrera was tremendous, putting up a .328/.420/.622 line with 38 homers and 126 RBIs. His RBI  total, on-base percentage and  OPS+ of 179 were tops in the AL. If it were possible to do it all yourself, he certainly gave it a try. Ordonez, too, was having a big season, batting .303 before his injury.

Young hitting was in abundance, with two outfielders in the rookie of the year conversation. Austin Jackson batted .293, scored 103 runs, hit 34 doubles and play exciting defense. Brennan Boesch looked a heck of a lot better in the first half (.342 average) than the second (.163), but showed he’s got potential.

On the pitching side, Justin Verlander was an 18-game winner and an All-Star, Max Scherzer went 12-11 with a 3.50 ERA after arriving last winter from Arizona, and 22-year-old Rick Porcello weathered some growing pains and a trip to the minors and won five of his last six decisions.
 
HELP ON THE WAY

The Tigers farm system is considered thin at the top, but some very good signs arrived from Triple-A Toledo. Will Rhymes (pictured, below right) put himself in the picture for the starting job at second base by batting .304 in 54 games, and outfielder Casper Wells was tremendous 9.323/.364/.538) in a 36-game audition.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Tigers have some good core pieces and a lot of payroll flexibility, and a big part of what went wrong this year can be attributed to injuries. For those reasons, the Tigers are in a good position for 2011.

Will Rhymes SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Tigers have anywhere from $50 million to $70-plus million coming off the books, depending on how you do the accounting, so they’re in good position to address their needs.

The question is, how do they spend that money? They declined Ordonez’s pricey option, but could re-sign him for less. That would be a good start, but they could really use another middle-of-the-order threat.

As for the top free-agent bats, they’ve got room in the outfield for Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth, but no place for Adrian Beltre now that they’ve made a multi-year offer to Inge (and Beltre is not likely to become a DH). Detroit could be an attractive option for Adam Dunn if he softens on his demand not to DH.

The Tigers are happy with the trio of Verlander, Scherzer and Porcello at the top of the rotation, and have said they want to convert Phil Coke to starting because they need a left-hander. But a veteran guy like Aaron Harang would fit nicely.

2011 PREDICTION

Look for the Tigers to be contenders next year, making for what should be an entertaining three-way battle with the Twins and White Sox in the Central.
Check out the other R.I.P. reports here.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:48 pm
 

Leyland angrily denies Porcello trade rumor

Hmm, he didn't make it completely clear, but Jim Leyland seems to be leaning toward the view that right-hander Rick Porcello is not going to be traded.

"There's a rumor going around, I don't know if anybody's read it, about Rick Porcello being traded," the Tigers' manager told reporters after Friday's 7-3 win over the Twins. "I want to make this perfectly clear: That is a blatant lie. I don't even know where it came from. That's a blatant lie and it's irreponsible journalism. There's not a chance that Rick Porcello is going to be traded. That's a lie. That's not even speculation. That's a total lie."

A report surfaced Friday that indicated Porcello, demoted from the Tigers last month, was having his start for Triple-A Toldeo pushed back so his start could be a showcase for scouts from interested teams.

"That kind of stuff ticks me off real bad, because that's total BS," Leyland said. "Trust me, it's total BS. There's not even a chance that Rick Porcello is going to be traded. In fact, Rick Porcello is going to pitch in Cleveland. There's not a ... chance that he's going to be [traded]."
-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 9, 2010 3:45 pm
 

Porcello on the block?


Rick Porcello Rick Porcello was supposed to pitch against the Reds' Edinson Volquez tonight in Louisville, but the team has pushed him back to Saturday's game in Toledo, FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi reports .

Morosi adds Porcello is not hurt and the decision to push him back came from Detroit. He also speculates Porcello will "pitch before a special scouting audience tomorrow."

Porcello was a Rookie of the Year candidate last season, going 14-9 with a  3.96 ERA. This season's been different, going 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA before being demoted to the minors last season.

The Tigers would like another starter, but Houston's Roy Oswalt has reportedly told the Astros that he wouldn't approve a trade to the Tigers. Dan Haren would be a good fit, but an expensive one ($12.75 million in each of the next two seasons).

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 24, 2010 10:38 pm
 

Porcello pitches well in Triple-A


Recently demoted Rick Procello didn't exactly pout about going down to the minor leagues . In his first Triple-A start, Porcello allowed but a single hit in eight innings for the Toledo Mudhens facing Louisville, the Reds' Triple-A affiliate.

Porcello walked one batter and gave up just a double to Juan Francisco in Toledo's 6-1 victory over the Bats. Porcello struck out three.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 22, 2010 5:44 pm
 

Tigers to promote Oliver

Andy Oliver After demoting a young starting pitcher they brought to the majors with little minor-league experience, the Tigers will replace him with ... a young starting pitcher with little minor-league experience.

Andy Oliver, a 22-year-old left-hander who was Detroit's second-round pick in the 2009 draft, will make his major-league debut Friday in Atlanta. He takes the rotation spot of Rick Porcello, sent to Triple-A Toledo on Sunday after struggling in his second major league season.

Oliver (photo courtesy of MiLB.com) has pitched in just 14 minor-league games, all at Double-A Erie (4-3, 3.12 ERA). He also pitched in the Arizona Fall League.

Oliver is less than a year older than Porcello, but does have college experience Porcello didn't. Oliver played at Oklahoma State, and was part of a landmark lawsuit against the NCAA when he was suspended for having an attorney the NCAA said was acting as his agent.

A big, power lefty with a good changeup, Oliver could be up for a short stint while Porcello gets his breaking pitches sorted out. The Tigers, 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the American League Central, might need to look for help outside the organization if they're not convinced Porcello can return to form.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
Posted on: June 20, 2010 12:46 pm
 

Tigers send down Porcello

Rick Porcello Rick Porcello was deprived of bus rides from Erie and nights out in Toledo on his way up to the majors, but he'll get a chance to finally see the minor league sights after being sent down Sunday by the Tigers.

The right-hander, Detroit's top pick in the 2007 draft, skipped the Double-A and Triple-A levels and played in the majors in 2009, starting 31 games and going 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA. He finished third in voting for the American League Rookie of the Year. But Porcello's second major league season hasn't gone nearly as smoothly, and he stands at 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA, earning a trip to Triple-A Toledo.

"We think it’s the best thing for him," Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters.

Procello was skipped in the rotation before returning to the mound Saturday, when he gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks.

The issues for Porcello seems to be his sinker, which isn't sinking, and trouble locating his slider. He's been going to his fastball when he struggles, and hitters are expecting it.

Porcello, whose stay in the minors is open-ended, is set to start for the Mud Hens on Thursday. Who will replace him in the rotation? The Tigers are still talking about it, but the Detroit Free Press says Enrique Gonzalez, a Toledo starter recently called up and used in relief, is a possibility.

The Tigers stand 1 1/2 games out in the AL Central, and if they think Porcello's troubles won't have a quick fix, they might need to put themselves on the market for a starter.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: June 11, 2010 7:13 pm
 

Porcello to skip next start


The sophomore slump is in full effect for Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello, who will skip his next scheduled start -- Tuesday against the Nationals, the Detroit News reports .

The Tigers are off on Monday, so no other change to the rotation will be needed. Porcello will start next Saturday against the Diamondbacks.

Porcello is 4-6 with a 6.09 and has struggled with his sinker.

"We have to get the sinker back. We have to go one step at a time, and that's the first step," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We have to try and slow him down. With men on base, he wants to know the result before he throws a pitch. He just gets out there too quick."
Porcello was third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting last season when he went 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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