It’s up to you, Rick Porcello – are you going to step up and be the pitcher the Detroit Tigers need you to be, or are you just going to be yet another disappointment from the state of New Jersey?
The ball is in Porcello’s court (and glove) today as he faces the Atlanta Braves’ Tim Hudson in Detroit’s first spring training game of the year.
Porcello is a perfect case of “What have you done for me lately?” It’s tough to think back to the fourteen wins and 3.96 ERA he posted as a twenty-year-old in 2009. Back then the Tigers thought they were seeing the beginnings of a player with a huge upside and incredible potential.
However, in the past three seasons, the only Porcello stat that has significantly changed is his age. He’s been floundering and has remained stagnant—he’s no longer the twenty-year-old who fills Detroit with optimism. No, he’s become the twenty-four-year-old who we wonder if the Tigers are wasting their time on.
It’s likely Porcello is only going to pitch a few innings today, but a strong showing would help build momentum in his competition with Drew Smyly.
Plus, as a bonus, Porcello won’t have to face that philandering country boy and Hooters frequenter Chipper Jones in this matchup.
Who knows, maybe this will be the year that Porcello reveals himself to be another rare, Springsteen-esque gem who rises like a phoenix from that steaming pile of smog, human waste, and trash that occupies the space between Pennsylvania and the Atlantic Ocean.
Justin Gawel is a soup enthusiast who mainly writes for Rant Sports about the Detroit Tigers. Follow him on Google+ for all of his article postings.