Another good day for Porcello, Zumaya

Usually the second time around on live BP sessions, hitters start to catch up, making more contact and putting more pitches in play. That was not the case with Rick Porcello on Monday. Instead, it was more hitters watching pitches go by. Matt Treanor caught him and said it was nasty stuff.

For anyone wondering, Porcello is scheduled to pitch an inning Thursday against the Nationals at Viera, then throw a side session back in Lakeland over the weekend, then in next Monday’s exhibition game against Florida Southern.

Zumaya was one of the final pitchers to throw Monday and kind of cranked it up in his second time out. He wasn’t particularly happy with his split changeup, muttering something after letting go of one of them, but his curveball was breaking well, fooling right-handed hitters who would back away from the plate before the ball turned over. Inge was one of those, and he was crowing afterwards that he simply put a ball in play. Zumaya’s fastball was cranking up but in and out locationwise, because he was admittedly overthrowing.

Nate Robertson also threw Monday and turned up another good session for his slider. He said he’s having an easier time getting around on the pitch now compared to last year, and it’s putting some bite back into the ball. We’ll get a better idea how far he has progressed when he pitches Thursday and mixes in his other stuff to set up Nationals hitters, but it appears he has the slider back.

That was about it from camp today. Players were getting out in a hurry because they had a charity golf outing this afternoon. And as third base coach Gene Lamont said, guys are getting anxious to start playing some Spring Training games.


Jason – love the updates, but man are you getting my hopes up for our pitching staff this year!

Tiger Girl, my hopes are up for this team period. I think we are going to see some of what we expected last year.

Last night on MLB Network (Tigers spotlighted during the “30 in 30” series) the panel rated where the Tigers would finish in ’09. Results were 1st place, 2nd place and last place. Last place??? Dan, I’m hoping you have to eat those words. It was nice to hear some good things said about this team after the beating of ’08.

DK, Last year was brutal and they deserved criticidsm. However, I don’t believe they will be a last place team this year. In fact I think there will be a period of time where they are in serious contention. Hopefully that is in September.
I do have some bones to pick as far as acquistions that were unmade over the winter and I am not as optimistic and gushy about our 3rd baseman’s rejuvenation as he and management are–but other than that, I am happy enough about the club.
What I see the keys of the season are (not Inge and Willis), are Curtis hitting .300 and stealing at least 35 bases; Sheffield being productive,: solid contribution from Guillen for the whole season (toi justify Inge at 3rd) and last but not least– a dependable starting rotation.

ooooh. This is gonna be interesting. Where will the Tiggers lie this year? Hopefully better off than this guy (in the Tigers jersey):

Look, I’ll admit as much as anybody that these early pitching sessions only mean so much until they start facing opposing teams. To me, though, the thing that makes some of these sessions more meaningful is the fact that so many of Detroit’s pitching struggles last year were self-inflicted. Dontrelle could not throw consistent strikes with a consistent delivery, and so far, he’s doing both. Now we’ll see what, if anything, hitters can do with what he’s throwing.

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