July 9th, 2010

Porcello falling in line for spot start

The Tigers have moved back Rick Porcello’s scheduled start for Triple-A
Toledo from Friday and Saturday, leading to speculation that Detroit
could be lining up their onetime prized prospect to pitch in front of
scouts at Toledo rather than on the road. Jon Paul Morosi of
FOXSports.com presented the idea, as well as team president/general
manager Dave Dombrowski’s unwillingness to list Porcello as
“untouchable,” and speculated if he could be a piece in a trade for a
starting pitcher such as Arizona’s Dan Haren.

It appears,
however, that the Tigers’ decision might have more to do with having Porcello
rejoin the Tigers next weekend rather than pitch for another team
anytime soon. The Tigers have a day-night doubleheader next Saturday at
Cleveland, and Dombrowski said earlier this week that one of those games
would be a spot start either for somebody from the Minor Leagues or a
current reliever. Moving him back a day would set him up to pitch
next Saturday night on six days’ rest.

The Mud Hens have their
All-Star break next Monday through Wednesday, so Porcello can’t be
slotted to start Saturday on normal rest. Starting Porcello on Sunday
night would make more sense that way, but if that game were to be rained
out or his outing rain-shortened, the Tigers would have to ponder other
options, or which there are few in Toledo.

Porcello has
struggled in his last two starts for the Mud Hens, allowing 10 runs on
17 hits over 13 innings combined. Those numbers don’t add up to a strong
resume to start in the big leagues again, but the Tigers don’t have a
lot of options. It would be a one-time start until Armando Galarraga
rejoins Detroit’s rotation July 20.

A Major League source said the Tigers are not shopping Porcello. As for any trade interest with the
Diamondbacks, Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew might appear to be a more
realistic target than Haren at the moment. Morosi reports that the Tigers and Diamondbacks aren’t in serious talks on Haren.

As for the rotation, neither Tigers management nor coaches are talking about who’s starting out of the All-Star break next weekend. Manager Jim Leyland said he knows who’s starting, but he doesn’t want to talk about it right now.

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