Leyland: Porcello needs to pitch (in Toledo)

If anyone was expecting Rick Porcello’s eight innings of one-hit ball to earn him a quick return to Detroit, it isn’t happening. Manager Jim Leyland put an end to that speculation before it had a chance to begin.
“He needs to pitch,” Leyland said.
Leyland added that left-hander Andy Oliver will make his next turn in the rotation, which comes up Wednesday afternoon against the Twins in the finale of their three-game series at Target Field.
A double to left field was the lone hit the 21-year-old Porcello allowed in his first Triple-A start. He induced 15 ground-ball outs compared with just six fly balls. Organizational reports said he had a good amount of success with his slider, a huge development for him as a third pitch.
“It was a step in the right direction,” Knapp said of the slider.
The outing drew comparisons to the brief Toledo stint of Max Scherzer, who proved after two starts that he had made the adjustments he needed to be an effective Major League pitcher. Leyland isn’t going to bite on comparisons.
“Porcello needs to pitch,” Leyland reiterated. “I’m not going to talk about Porcello right now. Everybody’s all excited [after] one start. He needs to go down there and pitch and get himself straightened out. I’m not going to get all excited. He needs to go down there and get work in and pitch.
“And I love Rick Porcello, and I think he’s going to be back, and I think he’s going to be a great Major League pitcher. But he’s down in the Minor Leagues right now, and we’re handling issues up here.”

9 Comments

in the context of all the other questionable stuff JL has done, this is not too severe. They want Porcello to do some serious work, and that will help not only the team, but him in the long run.

The thing that others have touched on, that I hate the most, is JL putting the guy just up from AAA into the position of the player who is being rested or is on the DL. This makes zero sense, beyond the superstitious idea that if you move someone from 7 to 6, for example, they will suffer. Ridiculous.

My post was a response to tenten. Darn, this site really sucks. Why does there have to be a time shift?

Maybe it’s just me, but I think Leyland’s being a little… harsh? I mean, I totally understand that just because Rick had a great outing, that doesn’t give him a free pass back to the majors. I get that. I wouldn’t expect him to come back so quickly. But, it doesn’t seem like Leyland is thrilled that Porcello pitched so well. It sounds like he’s just blowing it off, when in fact it was a great first step for Rick to get back in the majors. But that’s just my opinion, and I can handle it if I’m view this the wrong way. Anyone wish to comment?

Catching up on the posts from last night after I went to bed.
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Sometimes the best thing to do is ignore temper tantrums and the lack of attention does the trick to get them to stop. My fellow bloggers are smart folks who already knew that.
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Happy for Edwin.
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I did see Leyland comment on Porcello and he gave no indication that he’s down on Rick. It may sound harsh in print, but I didn’t gain that impression. The fact is, this is not comparable to the Scherzer case at all. Porcello is 21 and has very little minor league time. While his step backward is disappointing, it’s not entirely unexpected. Speaking for myself, I have more confidence in Rick Porcello than any young Detroit pitcher that I’ve seen in decades. If it takes awhile for him to get back, so be it. In this case, it’s the long run that counts.
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Speaking of temper tantrums, I give you Carlos Zambrano. :-) What a scene in the Cubs dugout yesterday. Poor Tram looked like he’d seen a talking dog quoting Shakespeare.
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A further thought on Damon. While it’s entirely possible he’s just in a slump, bear in mind that when he was acquired, Brennan Boesch wasn’t in the picture. If it came to pass that Damon has really lost it, we’re back to Guillen as DH and we’re no worse off than when spring training began. It’s also possible that Damon thrives on the big market atmosphere after all those years in Boston and New York. For now, I’m going to assume he’s just slumping.
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–Rich

Well it is time for Damon to put up or for JL to shut him down. The Tigers have never seemed to grasp the concept of a DH. While other theams sign the David Ortiz’ and Vlad Guerrero’s and Frank Thomas’ we limp along with stop-gap measures and inferior production from this very critical spot in the lineup.
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Management feels this is a position you use to placate your fading stars, or to mollify malcontets. They have not understod this is where you want your pure, love-of hitting baseball players.
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They won’t be able to do much in terms of finding an ideal DH this year. The closest thing we have for that would be Raburn IMO. Guillen would be OK but then again you would be dealing with another instance of discontent.
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I agree with what I have been hearing about Carlos and being able to span the range needed to handle 2B. The fact that he tries to compensate at the position is immediately disconcerting. As far as as the basic attributes of catching and throwing the ball he has been OK—it’s getting to the ball that causes the compromise on defense.
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I do hope that management realizes they need serious alternatives at 3 infield positions next year. They also need to understand and appreciate the definition of “designated hitter”, and take the assignment of such more seriously.
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In the past I have been hard on Magglio as our right fielder. I must say he has been a pleasant surprise this year. He doesn’t get to everything but he gets to a lot more than he did before this year. He has been solid. That being said, his bat, his age, his love of hitting, all indicate he may be ready for the DH role next year. Not this ad hoc, part-time nonsense but a full-time role as part of an overall offensive plan.
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This year is going to be a difficult one to manage with the personnel we have. Maaybe JL can give Raburn some time at 2B against LHP, DH Carlos and sit Damon.
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Damon needs a team who plays on a small field. You could get away with him in the OF and he might be able to reach the fences again. I believe his acquistion, though well though out, has ended up being problematic. Perhaps the expectations of him being a messiah of sorts were too much. He’s definitely (JL hates this word) pressing.
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I hope for a team that is not so ploddingly predictable at the plate next year. One that can manifest itself by causing at least a little havoc on the bases, one that can manufacture runs when the bats go silent. An attack that is less boom or bust and more consistent. I think our starting pitching is going to be good, real good in fact. And I believe it will keep us close this year as well.
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I also belive that you put Washburn and Huff behind you and don’t be afraid to make a trade. As it stands right now this team does not have enough to win its division.

Predictable is a good word. Damon is this year’s Sheffield. NYY were done with him, DD gave him too much money and Leyland thinks “showing respect” is more important than winning.
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Why do we throw out Rayburn 3 games in a row when he’s not hitting, and then sit him after a game he provided all the Tigers offense?
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BTW- I read that Washburn is currently coaching T-Ball but available for a MLB gig if anyone is interested.
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-Tracey

Hey Dan, I thought of that too. Raburn at secondbase against lefties and Guillen to DH is a sound idea. Raburn has actually played the position better than Carlos, and it also gets Guillen some partial rest. Bottom line is that Raburn, who pounds lefties, replaces Damon in the lineup on those days. This qualifies as one of Leyland’s “no-brainers.”
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Fox has mucked up today’s TV schedule. While EI routinely doesn’t show Saturday afternoon games, now they won’t carry the evening schedule either. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to hook up the laptop and watch this one on MLB.com. There’s a method to my madness of buying up every subscription that’s out there.
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–Rich

Let see Scherzer gets straighten out down in Toledo,and Porcello looked good in his first start,um do we have the wrong pitching coach?

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