Porcello sells 48 to Hunter for hurricane relief

You had to figure once the Tigers had a deal with Torii Hunter, he would end up getting his number 48 from Rick Porcello. This probably wasn’t the expected way.

As it turned out, Porcello turned the usual jersey number exchange into a very positive turn for his home state.

Hunter and Porcello had met and talked once in another offseason when both were in Las Vegas, so there was already a familiarity.

“I called Rick Porcello, and I told him that I wanted to [buy the number],” Hunter said Friday. “You know, veteran guys usually give a nice dollar amount for a number, so I offered him a nice dollar amount. And he said no. I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with him.'”

Then Porcello came at him with another idea.

“You know what, he’s from New Jersey,” Hunter continued, “and Hurricane Sandy came and destroyed some parts of New Jersey, and he knows some people that were affected by it. He said, ‘The money that you offered me, could you donate it to this organization for Hurricane Sandy?’

“That’s the kind of guy Rick Porcello is. And he really gave me number 48. I’m like, ‘Are you sure you don’t want anything? You’re OK?’ He’s like, ‘Yes, I’m straight.'”

Porcello lives in northern New Jersey, close enough that he can see New York from his hometown. He went to high school at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, which was reportedly hit hard by the storm. There was a YouTube video that circulated around showing what looked like an endless line for gas at a station in West Orange that hadn’t opened yet.

Porcello had worn number 48 since he made the Tigers rotation out of spring training in 2009. He wore 21 in high school, but Dontrelle Willis had that number in 2009. Delmon Young wore 21 the last season and a half. Porcello will wear it now.

Hunter was glad to help.

“Thank you, Rick. You the man,” Hunter said.


Looks like Beck has been drinking lots of coffee. I just posted on his most recent entry and it instantly became history. So…Rounding out the rotation with Porcello and/or Smyly? C’mon DD. Are they quality starters? Absolutely not. Use that line as a bargaining position to so re-sign Sanchez or sign someone like Kuroda? Yes. We need a stud starter to win now. Porcello and/or Smyly are not ready to assume that role.

Porcello and Smyly may not be studs, but they’re quality starters IMO. Ricks needs to can that slider permanently and maybe have a new shortstop, a quicker one, and the same infield for an entire season. Smyly has just shown the tip of the iceberg so far. As far as winning the division goes, we’ve already solved one of our biggest 2012 issues by adding clubhouse leadership in Hunter and Victor. Jim leaves the players to handle the clubhouse. At this point in time, the other clubs in the Central will have to improve themselves a great deal to keep up. I don’t think we’re going to sleepwalk through next season like we did this one. That said, I suspect we will add another starter this winter. Sanchez seems fixed at $15m per season, but it’s the length of contract that’s the sticking point.
I absolutely don’t want Castellanos or Garcia with the team if Jim is going to platoon them. They’d be better off in the minors. Glad to hear that being addressed by Mr. Dave.
Finally, classy move on Porcello’s part with the hurricane Sandy donation. Welcome to Detroit, Torii. Nice place already, isn’t it?

I concur on Castellanos and Avisail. Actually don’t think Castellanos is ready. I think Garcia is and will be in the spring.
We do need a new shortstop. Yes JP makes all the routine plays but I am really worried if he will be able to make them in time. He was downright scary in the series.
We need a guy who can make the play in the hole and who can energize the lineup with speed.
BTW here’s a hint for Austin. If you want to wind a gold glove you will need to leave your feet more often. That is the one thing lacking in his otherwise superb defense.
The downside is the injury possibility but there are guys who dive for years without injuring themselves.

With Hunter at his back, perhaps he will do it more. The danger of making a 3b out of a single will be far lesser now .
I already said of Garcia , JL made his mind about him as a platoon player. So I guess DD was addressing JL since neither Castellanos nor Garcia make the lineups.

Schmels mentioned an overlooked data, Porcello´s FIP was 3.91 (2012) Career:4.26
Schonfield another one: the BAA is far worse each time through the lineup.
It is not only the defense hurting him
As I mentioned before , his fastball was 95MPH( DD drafted him , you cant expect anything different of a flamethrower). For some reason, he was told to rely in the sinker. He was too young for that. And the sinker works best , the more tired is the arm. But he was pulled early in the games to avoid tiring him.
Smyly? he earned it . Against the Yankees he was superb.

What is FIP?

Fielding Independent Pitching.

HR ,BB and K per IP. The performance of the pitcher not related to defense

A career 4.26 FIP puts Porcello in the Below Average to Poor range.

If Sanchez does not comeback, I would like to see Jackson again with the Old D. And give him more RS this time

I don’t mean to sound harsh about Porcello and Smyly. I like them both as young pitchers with the potential to develop into solid mid-rotation guys. However, neither of them has yet reached that stage. In order for the Tigers to compete at a championship level, a starter of the calibre of Sanchez is needed. The Tigers require quality starts on a consistent basis, which neither Porcello nor Smyly has proven they can do.

It looks like Kuroda may be headed to SoCal, according to MLB.

I was under the impression Boesch was returning to the Tigers. However, Nicholson-Smith recently reported he may well end up being non-tendered.

Regardless of whether Rick is worthy of a starting rotation position or not, the point of this blog is that he stepped up as a human being and helped in a higher cause. And its not like he’s making the big bucks yet (in relative terms of course). My respect for him just increased exponentially. Hope he continues as a starter for the Tigers. Regardless of what the stats show, he would greatly benefit from a mobile IF. Don’t know how you could think otherwise.
I can still see the “take down” of Youkilis. That was a heck of a moment:-)
El Tigre, regarding the FIP, there are 2 negative variables and a positive one (K’s) in the equation. Honestly, if there’s an unknown stat waiting to be thought up (and I’m sure there is), someone’s going to conceive it. Seriously, how do those 3 variables set up? Strikeouts divided by BBs + HR’s surrendered? Or is it something more complex? Square roots involved? Pi R squared? I’m digressing…………sorry.

The formula is (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. of course like every sabermetrics formula is a little suspicious.It is one of the many attempts to discover how good really is a pitcher .
But traditional stats tell the same history: each time thru the lineup his ERA goes up. And the defense is as bad every inning.Of course, longer innings work against him
His FB/GB ratio is negative so he needs a good defense behind him but he also needs another pitch . Why he was told to leave his fastball?
Is he the odd man out if they sign Sanchez? Not sure,the Tigers dont have any deep in the minors so they better fix Porcello

So without the algebra we’re saying Porcello’s strikeouts, walks, and homers allowed improved in 2012. Yet he still suffered from poor defense and high choppers and failed doubleplays. I’ve lost track of what we’re trying to say here.
To stake out my position on sabermetrics, I enjoy the real people aspect of baseball. It is the most human of the team sports, IMO. Turning it into algebraic formulas, and suspect ones at that, turns me off.
I think the initial problem with Rick was when they brought him up too soon in 2009. That’s why the sinker was stressed, since it enabled him to pitch in the League at 20. This year he got up to 94-95 mph several times but I’d like to see him lose that slider permanently. He gets killed with that, especially by LH hitters.

I thik it’s pretty simple. Smyly and Porcello are works in progress. The Tigers need a stud mid-rotation guy. Sanchez is okay. I like him lots. Kuroda would be a nice fit, too.

Rick Porcello has won 14, 10, 14 and 10 during the past four seasons and still is under 24 years of age. How many other current MLB pitchers match that criteria?? Total starts for Rick in those four years 31,27, 31 and 31. That’s pretty solid. He makes my Tiger rotation. Smyly does too.

Rick has proven to be a 10-15 game winner. As a number 4 or 5 starter, a lot of teams would take that and who in the Central has a better #4? I think he will be better this year and would not give up on him.

It’s not about just winning the Central. The Tigers are in championship competition mode. Sanchez, Jackson, Kuroda et al are guys who would fit in with JV, DF and MS. That group of 4 would end up being the playoff rotation. Porcello and Smyly have not proven ready. Their time will come.

good point!

Since Rick is usually good 1st time thru the order, make him the closer.

does he have the mentality? i don’t think so, but i do think he’d be very successful as a long man. Ricky can be counted on to give you 5 good inning; sespecially if a lefty starter goes down.

in other words, i’m now convinced this is the best scenario: sign Sanchez, Kuroda, Jackson or Dempster…..keep Drew as the 5th man and stick Rick in the longman role. As Mayo suggested he could even come out for short stints. This solidifies the front half of the pen and gives us great 5man and 4man (read: playoff) rotations. You might even get away with not signing a bullpen guy (e.g. R. Madson, J. Soria or J. Peralta). Not upgrading the bullpen – at this point, is foolish if you think you’re a team that can win the WS.

Free agency starts and who strikes first. Our Detroit Tigers do. Well, we must admit that Torii Hunter targeted us!! When you get to the World Series, things like this happen. The market for free agent pitchers will be mighty expensive. We do not need to get into it. In fact, our team ERA was much improved last year. Our 2012 staff set an all-time record for strikeouts by a Tiger team. We probably could use a sixth candidate for the starting rotation in case an injury happens during spring training and since our superb closer for the past three seasons left for free agency we may need a bullpen piece. Of course, we do have some depth in our young arms but still we may need one veteran candidate. Ideally for us it would be someone who has been both a starter and a closer during their careers. I can think of two guys. Are there more?? Can we get someone like that.?? Or could someone like that be looking for us ??

superb??? i hope that was sarcasm…

Don’t forget that the playoff rotation can by rounded out by a mid-season trade, just as in the past two years (Fister and Sanchez). The club doesn’t absolutely need to address this over the winter. If we’re looking like a playoff team by next July, that’s the time to address whatever needs have arisen over the first half.

Why would the Tigers trade a roster player(s) and/or a prospect(s) in mid-season, instead of acquiring a free agent in the off-season, in order to fill an area of need?

Well, you identified the area of need as the playoff rotation. And free agent starting pitchers are routinely overpriced. We drafted a ton of pitchers and here are two that made it to the big club and contributed.

Like I said before, Does Sanchez want to play for Detroit? IMHO, I think Rick and Drew will continue to get better. Again, welcome Torii, you have been on my fantasy baseball team many times.

I just want to make it abundantly clear I don’t dislike Smyly or Porcello as talents. They are young and could develop into solid mid-rotation starters, like Sanchez. To me, Sanchez and his 71% quality start record in 2012 proves his value and absolutely dwarfs Porcello’s 42% and Smyly’s 39%. Sanchez can consistently give the Tigers a chance to win in the regular season or in the playoffs, which the Tigers need in order to win a championship.

Miguel Cabrera received the Luis Aparicio Award or the third time:

Cabrera mentions that he always takes their values everywhere. “I never forget that I am the same guy who was born and raised in La Pedrera (Maracay). Took all the advice that my parents gave me always present. Are more tools to work”.

He also told that the fight to win the Central Division of the American with the Detroit Tigers was what helped him a little to cope with the pressure of the triple Crown. “Those three weeks were the time of greater tension in my career, had not spent for something so soon. The expectation that generated was new for me,”he told.

“For me everything that happened this year leads me to have a great compromise, to continue with that example of great baseball left by great Venezuelans who were there before me”, he said.


Sanchez length of contract would be a concern to me due to his history with shoulder issues. Kuroda will go to NY, the West Coast or Japan. I like Jackson, but he in no more consistent than Rick and would cost a lot more.

Coming up on #HotStove today: @beckjason, #Tigers beat writer joins at 2pmET and #BlueJays reliever Sergio Santos joins at 3pmET

Tigers signed.
Kevin Russo 3B , LF, 2B

184 /.245/.470
28 YO

Darned near everyone wants to sign Sanchez, there’s no doubt of that. The fact that he isn’t signed yet is creating discussion on the fall back position. As each day goes by, that signing is less likely.

Fairly said. Haren is interesting as a “backup” possibility. He lost some stuff last year, presumably due to health issues which he claims have been resolved. Haren is still pretty young with a very nice resume, but his recent medical problems and ticket price could make him too risky to pursue. On the other hand, if he proves healthy and is signed to a short contract with an option, he might prove worth the risk.

I like Sanchez but the amount of dough needed to keep him would compromise money needed elsewhere.
Porcello is ready to bloom and Smyly has a talented left arm. His lack of quality starts has more to do with JL deliberately and calculatingly limiting his innings rather than an inability to achieve them.
We need a lefty (at least one) in our rotation.

Of Topic.
I must admit I have not seen much of the Lions this year but what I have seen all too often is Matthew Stafford acting like the bad things he has been doing is somebody else’s fault. I was very high on his drafting but he is showing a whole lot of mediocrity this year.

Did anyone catch this on MLB Trade Rumors: “eight teams have interest in Jason Grilli accordnig to his agent, Gary Sheffield.”

Yes, from the original source:”Sheffield, who runs Gary Sheffield Management in Tampa, which advises players on personal finances”
Pity Grilli has issues with JL. He would be a good addition to the bullpen

I have not heard about Grilli having an issue with JL. I have heard JL say he felt bad for Grilli for the way a lot of the fans booed him.

There are many stories on the Leyland-Grilli issue. Too many to link, so just do a search on Leyland Grilli.

Toronto is looking pretty scary with the Yanks and BoSox down. They pulled off a big deal with the Marlins and are now in heavy on Sanchez.

Plus they got Melky. However, they now have an abundance of catchers; a situation which could prove attractive to the Tigers.

Well I don’t know if DD can swing a deal with the Jays but we do need a catcher. And a good one. To go blindly into the night with Holaday would be a mistake. As we saw this year, Avila can disappear offensively. We need a catcher who can succeed if Avila fails. We don’t need to go through the season with a “hole” in the lineup.

Beck about Holaday:”The Tigers drafted Holaday out of TCU three years ago with the idea he could grow into a useful catcher in the big leagues, certainly defensively”
The Tigers have a powerful lineup 1-5 and have above average bats with Peralta( his Babip last year was below his career avg, he could rebound this year), Dirks, Garcia and Infante. They can afford to have a defense first catcher.
They same argument to trade Peralta and play Worth , make Holaday a good alternative if they keep Peralta.
Avila was a rookie when he took over the post from Laird. Posey was a rookie when the Giants made into the WS. Johnny Bench was once a rookie.
Anyway, Stoppach and Olivo ( both with good numbers vs RHP) are the only option less expensive than the 3.3 /2 years Laird
A trade with the Jays? Buck is a regular not a backup and way too expensive , 6 MM /year. Arencibia is a regular too and would cost Castellanos and more.Travis d’Arnaud would cost Castellanos and perhaps more

Holaday is not Posey or Bench but he could easily be Laird.

To me, Holaday is a big question mark at a very important position. I definitely do not see him as a Bench or a Posey. I’m not sure I even see him as an Avila, who really has not established his own identity. There sure were a lot of complaints about his performance in 2012 and some attributed it to his need for regular rest, which makes a quality backup imperative. As far as the Jays go, they have a lot of catchers and they cannot all play.

I’m just saying, Avila gets banged up a lot and is only a foul ball away fom being out of the lineup. I was one of the posters who liked Laird. And I liked DOK’s idea of Ross as a backup with Laird out of the picture. Now, I feel very uncomfortable with the catching situation and “hope” Holaday can do the job. When you “know” someone can do the job, it leaves a different feeling.

if history is any indication – alex will be hurt for times this upcoming season. He’s a .260 hitter with good pop in his bat but no speed to speak of. He MUST be backed up by a LEGIT backup. Legit meaning we can count on him but he doesn’t have to have the offensive numbers.

Management has a plan at the catcher position. Avila will get about 130 starts if healthy all season. He needs to get 80 ABs each month. Holaday will match Avila on the defensive side both catching and throwing. As far as hitting goes, our manager will get him mostly bats against LH starters. It’s a tough job for Bryan as he should get only five starts per month. In January, Al Avila might be lining up a veteran backup for Toledo.

can you please give me a number on how confident you are that he will be “healthy all season”? I would put the chances of that somewhere between a 5 and 15% chance. It’s not all his fault, the pitchers throwing at him have insane stuff, but the ends are the same. He gets hurt – and JL plays him anyhow. Maybe Al Avila has more to do with all of this than we expect.

Healthy all season just means Alex avoids the DL. Injuries are a part of baseball you can not control. You deal with them when they happen. NO, no I will not try to get into a % forcast with a meteorologist !!!!

Maybe Al Avila has more to do with all of this than we expect.?Perhaps they are trying to show that there is no favoritism or nepotism involved.So they will leave him until he cant walk so no one will doubt he earned the post? I dont have doubt. No one here has any doubt . Of course, in other blogs you find here and there some comments
His OBP was 350. That is good.
I dont expect the catcher to hit or run fast but to call a good game, inspire confidence to the pitchers and throwing out the runners.
We had Parrish and Pudge but you dont find to many like them

I’m not sure that Avila has proven he’s a .260 hitter with some pop, but we should find out in 2013. I don’t think the backup catcher is a very big issue in the larger scheme of things.

It’s actually critical. Avila is a one of those guys who could become a star or perch on the precipice and fall precipitously. It is all about character. I think Avila has it, but may not realize he that he does. He tends to subrodinate himself and he has the capacity to lead. He needs to rev himself up and become a bit more intense. He has taken the JL philosophy of “not too high, not too low” to heart and, for him, that is not an effective approach. IMHO.
Beyond that, he likes to play hurt. That is good but the downside is that it can moderate your expections of yourself with an attitude that you are playing hurt therefore, you can accept lesser results. I’ve done that in my playing of the game. Kind of like a martyr complex where you know your team appreciates the sacrifice you make and accept the results and contributions, good or otherwise.
He is a courageous player but the truly great players play through the infirmity and excel in spite of it.
That is the character I am talking about. I think he has it but hasn’t found the way to tap in to it.
Mantle had it, Kaline had it.

First – kudos to Rick Porcello, excellent job of thinking of issues bigger than baseball.
Second – I do not see Sanchez coming back, not because he doesn’t want to, but because I think someone will overspend.
Third – Holaday is ready for the chance to backup.
Fourth – Grilli, while he gave me heartburn in Detroit, pitched very well last year in Pittsburgh.

I’ve seen Holaday in spring training. Obviously, that needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but one can usually spot talent even in March. If they acquire a backup, fine, but I’m also fine with Holaday getting a shot. I also consider our manager who will play Avila into the ground regardless.
I think the issue with Sanchez may be length of contract more so than money. We’ll be wanting to keep Verlander, Cabrera, etc.

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