Lynn Henning has been writing about Rick Porcello daily, basically imploring Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski to take him north. In fact it’s the only story he’s been writing about. (although I haven’t written about much either so I’m not really ragging on him for this). Well in this afternoon’s piece Henning says:
Fans are nervous. Fans are excited. Rick Porcello is coming to town, as near as we can tell today, as part of Tigers manager Jim Leyland’s rotation.
Is this Henning speculation or fact? I have to believe it’s more the former than the latter. Porcello is clearly outperforming Robertson/Willis/Miner and is healthier than Bonderman. And if the season started next week I think the Tigers would take Porcello over the other options. But last I looked it’s March 13th and the season doesn’t start until April.
Why would the Tigers make this decision now? With Robertson and Willis on multi-year contracts there is no money to save by ending the competition now. Both will have several more chances to earn a spot and Porcello will have several more chances to demonstrate his readiness. It all seems premature.
Add in the fact that there is no Leyland quote about this and the other beats don’t make mention of it, and I think this is an informed guess as opposed to breaking news.
In other rotation-y news though, Jason Beck notes that the rotation order is lining up for the regular season with Justin Verlander starting on Opening Day (no surprise) and Edwin Jackson pitching game 2. And Jon Paul Morosi notes that there is no more slack remaining in Jeremy Bonderman’s schedule if he’s going to be ready for the first week. Most years the Tigers could get by with four starters the first week or two, but with the team playing 10 straight days there is no flexibility.