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MLB Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers: Rick Porcello Making Case for Pitching Rotation Spot

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After being featured in a fair amount of trade rumors this week, Rick Porcello went out and showed his worth in flummoxing the Houston Astros in Class-A ball on Wednesday. The 24-year old right-hander is currently competing for the fifth spot in the Detroit Tigers pitching rotation along with Drew Smyly, and providing good trade value in the process.

On Wednesday, he pitched 6.2 innings and only gave up one hit and one earned run, putting the statline in his past six starts at a 1.86 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched.

Depending on which way Tigers skipper Jim Leyland was leaning heading into this stretch, this will either make his starting-rotation decision much harder or much easier. “It’s going to go down to the wire,” Leyland told Schmehl. “We had some conversations, but there’s absolutely nothing — nothing — solved.””

Much can be owed to mechanical changes Porcello made this off-season. Upon instruction from his pitching coach, Porcello worked on his delivery and it has already paid dividends.

“I kind of just pretended like I didn’t know how to pitch and started from scratch, doing simple drills,” Porcello said, via Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. “It’s worked out. It’s helped.”

Whether the Tigers, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox or some new interested trade partner comes in the mix to snag Porcello, someone will have a rapidly-improving young pitcher come Opening Day.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google