Rick Porcello is in his fifth season with the Detroit Tigers and many fans are hoping this is his last. The Tigers’ starter has had an up-and-down career in Detroit and he may be on the way out before the season is over.
His start against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 10 was just more justification on why he needs to go. Albeit, it’s early in the year, but he already has an elevated 6.10 ERA and just three strikeouts in two starts.
After a solid rookie season with a 3.96 ERA in 2009, the young pitcher experienced a sophomore slump that ballooned his numbers to an ERA nearing five and a 10-12 record. Many people thought this would blow over, but the second-year pitcher followed up the poor second year with another off-year in his third season.
The 24-year-old right-hander now has five seasons under his belt and just one of those seasons has been highlighted by a solid ERA.
With his first two starts out of the way in 2013, one thing is clear– the Tigers need to start looking for a fifth starter. Don’t get me wrong, for a No. 5 guy in the rotation, Porcello is solid, but they need consistency in the rotation.
Going from Anibal Sanchez one day to Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Doug Fister, Porcello seems very out of place– and he is.
Manager Jim Leyland has instilled his faith in the mediocre starter for too long to get no results. He failed to make the rotation in the 2012 pennant race and continues to be a liability in the rotation. The Tigers have one of the best, if not the best, rotations in the league and could be even better with a solid starter replacing Porcello.
Second-year pitcher Drew Smyly could be the answer. He began the 2012 season as the fifth starter and has experience and talent to lead him back to his old job. An injury last season cost him a spot in the starting rotation, but he has proved enough out of the bullpen to win his spot back.
As of right now, however, Rick Porcello is not cutting it for the Tigers.