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News » Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-04-15

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-04-15

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-04-15
So now you know what manager Jim Leyland thinks of rookie right-hander Rick Porcello.

He likes him enough, at least for now, to keep him in Detroit's rotation even though the 20-year-old has only made one major league start -- and a mediocre one, at that, according to the results (four runs and nine hits in five-plus innings).

Leyland is skipping the youngster's turn this time through the rotation rather than pushing him back a day after Tuesday's rained-out game against the Chicago White Sox.

But he is slotting Porcello into the spot previously held by Zach Miner, at least temporarily put in the bullpen since Detroit has days off coming up Thursday and Monday and won't need a fifth starter until April 25 in Kansas City.

You could interpret that as a slap at Miner, who allowed eight runs and nine hits Monday in a 10-6 loss, but it's more a reflection of where Leyland thinks the veteran's true value to the team lies. He's said all along Miner fits his team better as a long reliever, that he's only starting out of necessity.

Leyland decided after the rainout he'd rather have Armando Galarraga take his regular turn Wednesday than throw the rookie Porcello at a division rival. Justin Verlander will pitch Friday at Seattle on an extra day of rest, with Edwin Jackson following and Porcello working Sunday.

The death of former Tigers right-hander Mark "The Bird" Fidrych on Monday pointed out how times have changed in baseball.

Fidrych made the club as a 21-year-old non-roster invitee to spring training in 1976, didn't make his first start until mid-May and still wound up pitching 250 1/3 innings with 24 complete games. He was 19-9 as part of a four-man rotation.

Porcello is 20, works in a five-man rotation and probably will be held to 150 innings this year to protect his arm. He pitched in 125 innings as a minor-leaguer last year.

WHITE SOX AT TIGERS, POSTPONED (RAIN): No makeup date was announced.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 15, 2009

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