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MLB Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers’ Rick Porcello Has His Best Start of Spring

Rick Porcello

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

There have always been high expectations for Detroit Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello, but those expectations were raised even higher after coming off perhaps his best season in MLB thus far.

Unfortunately, his stuff has not panned out quite yet so far this Spring Training as allowing five runs and nine base runners through seven innings over his first three starts is obviously less than ideal.

Trying to silence any sense of doubt that might have started to creep into people’s minds (despite it only still being preseason), Porcello turned in his best performance of the preseason against the Miami Marlins earlier today. He only had one real mistake — a solo homer to slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth inning. Other than he was pretty solid as he only allowed four hits, walked none and struck out three in his longest outing of the season so far (3.1 innings).

Obviously it is still not perfect for Porcello as he gave up a decent amount of hits for a start that lasted less than four innings. But his strikeout rate has remained fairly consistent as he is averaging just below one strikeout per inning. That means Porcello’s stuff is effective and making batters miss his pitches, but batters are still getting good wood on pitches that are off location.

Porcello will only have about three more starts before the regular season starts, but there should not be too much concern that his command might still be a bit off midway through the Spring Training. Pitchers need time to relocate the strike zone when they face live hitting again in February and March, and Porcello should find more control of where he wants to put his pitches as he continues to make more starts.

As long as Porcello can continue to improve, and maybe have a scoreless outing his next time on the mound, there should be no concerns with him moving forward to the regular season.

Nolan Silbernagel is a Detroit Tigers writer for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @nsilbernagel, “Like” his Facebook page and add him to your circle on Google