In a surprising but probably needed move, the Detroit Tigers have demoted starting pitcher Rick Porcello to Triple-A Toledo. Porcello was almost the 2009 AL Rookie of the Year and was on the path to stardom, this year he’s hit the famous sophomore slump. So far in 2010, he’s 4-7 after 13 starts with a 6.14 ERA, not good numbers at all. As of now, the Tigers have not announced a replacement for Porcello.
It’s unfortunate for the kid but its something that might do him some good. He’s struggled with his control and scondary pitchers most of the season and some time in Toledo could help him work the kinks out. The Tigers did the same thing with Max Scherzer for a couple weeks and it did help, some. Max is still struggling but he has started to put things together, slowly.
“Our goals are such to get him back to be the pitcher we know he can be,” Tigers team president Dave Dombrowski said. “We need to get his sinker going and his slider improved. For us, we saw some improvement yesterday, but not to the point where we would like it to be. Our people that have worked with him have said he’s thrown the ball very well in the bullpen. Now of course, we need to see that carry forward to the game. We know he has the ability.”
This move could be beneficial for Porcello. It may be something as small as getting his confidence in his pitches back and some time against weaker competition could do that. Hopefully that’s just the issue. There’s always a chance the league has just figured him out and now it’s Rick’s turn to step his game up to stay ahead.
I have a feeling this could be a short stint, especially if he does well. The Tigers are in a fight with the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central and Rick Porcello with his head on right would be a huge addition, it would be like a mid-season trade.