While the Tigers received bad news in the form of Casey Crosby’s Tommy John surgery, the news is ridiculously upbeat concerning Rick Porcello. Lynn Henning chats with Glenn Ezell (director of player development) and Jon Matlack (roving pitching instructor) and has all kinds of praise for the first rounder.
“I don’t know what he’ll pitch at, but he hit 97 (mph) numerous times and worked comfortably at 94-95,”
“He has two quality breaking balls (overhand curveball and slider), which are occasionally above-average, and one of which I believe will become better than average.
“And he has a plus change-up,”
“He can do things with his fastball: sink it, run it in, ride it. He is far, far advanced beyond just about anyone 18 years old I’ve ever worked with.”
Now keep in mind these are very early reports and are based solely on the instructional league. But it is far better than hearing that he sucks, or that is stuff is pretty good.
At the end Henning mentions that Porcello is likely to start the season at West Michigan, which was to be expected. But he also throws out the nugget that he could finish the year in Lakeland. Don’t know if that is speculation on Henning’s part, or if the Tigers will look to really challenge him – provided he fares okay for the Whitecaps