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Frederick Alfred "Rick" Porcello III

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Halladay had far more to work with in terms of secondary pitches than Porcello. Now that can change..but I am not detecting anything that would make it change as of today.

His slider looks night and day better to me since coming back. It went from a sloppy, wide, 80 mph pitch to a tight one at 85 or so. How much you want to bet on that is up to you, but it's something.

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Porcellos FIP is pretty much identical to last year so I dont think he is having an off year. Rather a correction to last years extremely lucky year.

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I'm not saying that at all.

I'm also not willing to "give up" on him.

However, I do believe his trade value right now is still VERY high as a high ceiling young prospect that has progressed quickly through the minors, and tasted success at the major league level. If the Tigers front office is starting to question whether or not he will reach that ceiling it is a very real possibility that his value in a trade this year will be greater than his value to the Tigers long term. I wouldn't move Porcello for just anything, but if you can use him as a chip to land a player like Hanley Ramirez I would do so without thinking twice.

That seems fair, although I don't think we quite have a surplus of starting pitching just yet - Oliver/Turner/Furbush could make impacts in 2012, but you can't count on them for much yet in 2011 probably. Also you may have to replace Bonderman as well?

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His slider looks night and day better to me since coming back. It went from a sloppy, wide, 80 mph pitch to a tight one at 85 or so. How much you want to bet on that is up to you, but it's something.

Just not feelin it..needs a tougher demenor..like game 163..needs significantly improved consistency and command..

His sinker has regressed considerably, his secondary pitches are flashes not weapons..

He is a very long way from being very good.

Lots of guys have great stuff..

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Just not feelin it..needs a tougher demenor.....

..

Coincidentally enough, I thought he was sporting more of a 'screw the lot of you' look during his last start than I'd seen with Porcello before. Of course, maybe it was just the heat. :wink: but you are right it would be a welcome development. For Armando as well.

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Everyone looks tougher when they're pitching well. I don't buy into things like that.

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I've always maintained that Porcello would end up being an ace type pitcher.

Yesterday's performance reinforced what I already knew about Rick. When he pitches his game, he's very tough to hit.

Then again, I've constantly bashed Guillen and Avila and both are having nice series' against the Sox.

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I've always maintained that Porcello would end up being an ace type pitcher.

Yesterday's performance reinforced what I already knew about Rick. When he pitches his game, he's very tough to hit.

Then again, I've constantly bashed Guillen and Avila and both are having nice series' against the Sox.

He was OK yesterday..more lucky, than good, 12 baserunners in 7 innings..isn't great..coughing up the lead after 2 out nobody on in the 7th..walking that piece of garbage Juan Pierre..not good.

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He was OK yesterday..more lucky, than good, 12 baserunners in 7 innings..isn't great..coughing up the lead after 2 out nobody on in the 7th..walking that piece of garbage Juan Pierre..not good.

Yeah, but wasn't there like a grand total of 2 or 3 balls hit in the air to the outfield? No extra-base hits. If you're not going to get Ks, that's what you have to do. Slider continues to look better, although not ace-worthy.

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Everyone looks tougher when they're pitching well. I don't buy into things like that.

I don't either for the most part. I think players tend to look confident when they are doing well. In the case of a pitcher, he might look confident because he knows he has his good stuff that day. He doesn't have good stuff because he decides to act tough.

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Finally

New cutter-slider is making a difference for Tigers starter Rick Porcello

Published: Saturday, August 28, 2010, 6:15 PM

Steve Kornacki

TORONTO -- A hybrid pitch -- a slider thrown with a cut fastball grip -- has enabled Detroit Tigers starter Rick Porcello to keep hitters off balance with something other than his signature sinker.

“I started working on it when I got to Toledo because I really needed to find a consistent breaking ball,” said Porcello, who starts today against the Toronto Blue Jays. “I began experimenting in Toledo because I needed to figure something out. I’d been throwing a slurve (slider-curve), but the ball felt so good coming out of my hand with that cutter grip.

“It has become my second pitch behind the sinker, and I throw it at least 15 times a game. I have so much better feel for this cutter than I do with my changeup. So, I’m going to it more. I sort of did it on my own.”

But then he worked with pitching coaches A.J. Sager and Jon Matlack at Toledo to refine the pitch. Porcello spent late June and early July with the Mud Hens in an effort to get on track after starting the season 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA.

“I’m actually beginning to set it up as an out pitch,” Porcello said, “and can use it behind in the count because I can get it over.”

He said it clocks at 83 to 87 mph, and that’s excellent for an off-speed pitch. Porcello said the ability to throw it hard is what makes it a difference pitch.

“It has a quick break and breaks more down than across,” Porcello said. “As the game goes on, I get more comfortable with it.”

Porcello is 2-4 with a 4.44 ERA since returning. His walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP) has also fallen -- from a hefty 1.7 to a solid 1.2. That’s one less batter reaching base for every two innings pitched since coming back with the new pitch.

Tigers bullpen coach Jeff Jones said: “It’s really turned out to be a pretty good pitch for him. I call it a cutter-slider, and he’s got it working.”

© 2010 MLive.com. All rights reserved.

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Boy, am I glad we didn't trade Porcello for Danny Haren. Ricky certainly isn't the first ballplayer to experience a sophomore slump. But he's a good one, and I predict he'll be better than Haren, who has never once posted an ERA under 3.00.

I think Porcello is going to become an elite pitcher. Once he gets a little older and wiser, and learns what our buddy Jim Price calls "the art of pitching," I think he's going to suprass JV as our main guy. This new cutter he's developed is a step in that direction. As he matures, I suspect he'll learn to throw variations on all his pitches, and learn how to keep the hitters off balance a little better. Once that happens, look out.

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Why the slam of Haren? Who cares if he has never been under 3.00? Verlander has never been under 3.00 either. Haren hasn't missed a start in six years, routinely pitches deep into games and has been very good. I'll be pretty happy if Porcello becomes as good as him.

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Why the slam of Haren?

I'm not "slamming" him. I'm saying I'm glad we didn't trade Porcello for him.

Who cares if he has never been under 3.00? Verlander has never been under 3.00 either.

Which is why I consider Verlander very good, but a shade under "elite." The elite pitchers are able to post sub 3.00 ERAs. I'm not saying that's the be-all end-all stat, but it is an indication of a great pitcher. Look at guys like Halliday, Maddux, Pedro. The elite guys, HOFers. Verlander and Haren aren't in that class.

And, as I said, I think Porcello is going to become one of those elite pitchers, better than Verlander.

Haren hasn't missed a start in six years, routinely pitches deep into games and has been very good. I'll be pretty happy if Porcello becomes as good as him.

Me too. Haren is a very good pitcher. But I think Porcello can be even better, and I'm glad we didn't trade him.

Edited by Duane B. Sims

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Which is why I consider Verlander very good, but a shade under "elite." The elite pitchers are able to post sub 3.00 ERAs. I'm not saying that's the be-all end-all stat, but it is an indication of a great pitcher. Look at guys like Halliday, Maddux, Pedro. The elite guys, HOFers. Verlander and Haren aren't in that class.

And, as I said, I think Porcello is going to become one of those elite pitchers, better than Verlander.

There is no way Porcello is going to have a sub-3.00 ERA in this hitting environment unless he starts striking out many more batters or has an unsustainably low BABIP for a season.

I'd be thrilled if he became as effective as Verlander, frankly.

Edited by Mr. Bigglesworth

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There is no way Porcello is going to have a sub-3.00 ERA in this hitting environment unless he starts striking out many more batters or has an unsustainably low BABIP for a season.

I'd be thrilled if he became as effective as Verlander, frankly.

without question..

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Isn't this a different Porcello than what we were told when they drafted him?

I seem to recall that he was hyped as a fireballer that could strike out a lot of batters.

Obviously that's not the case now.

My memory is not great, so correct me if I'm wrong.

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Porcello's got a lot of tools and some relatively lucky/defense-oriented positive results (2009) and unlucky/defense-oriented negative results (2010). He's young and healthy and has some time to develop, but he'll need to make some dramatic improvements to be a top-level starter.

I would have no problem trading him if it brought back a similar position player (young, well above-average talent, needing some development). How about Maybin? :classic:

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Isn't this a different Porcello than what we were told when they drafted him?

I seem to recall that he was hyped as a fireballer that could strike out a lot of batters.

Obviously that's not the case now.

My memory is not great, so correct me if I'm wrong.

You're right. And then they said he wasn't striking guys out because he was on a pitch count and they wanted him to be efficient. So, he was throwing his sinker to induce ground balls. I assumed that he would eventually be able to get strikeouts. I still think he will, but I'm less optimistic about it than I was previously.

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Porcello has displayed coachability and intelligence that many pitchers his age (and far, far beyond his age) seem to lack.

Really we should remember how young this guy is, and give him a chance to develop, unless, there's an irresistible trade opportunity out there.

It's easy to fall in love with a guy based on a single pitch - Rick's sinker, Zoom's fastball, Bonderman's slider, Oliver's heater, etc. - but it takes time to refine your secondary pitches. You are not going to come out of high school and start pitching like Greg Maddux. Even a sharp guy like Max Scherzer is just now coming into his own, really, at age 26.

We all know that Porcello was rushed to the big leagues, just like Bonderman was, Oliver was, and Turner likely will be. If the guy has the desire and mental toughness to succeed, he will learn his craft and continue to develop. Take Bonderman for example - clearly rushed in 2003, but by the end of 2006 clearly one of the top starters in baseball - and he's not exactly a Rhodes scholar when it comes to the "art of pitching". Porcello is only three years removed from high school ball, so IMHO he's off to a pretty damned good start if you ask me.

Patience, my sons. :chinese::happy:

Edited by DaYooperASBDT

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Isn't this a different Porcello than what we were told when they drafted him?

I seem to recall that he was hyped as a fireballer that could strike out a lot of batters.

Obviously that's not the case now.

My memory is not great, so correct me if I'm wrong.

He has strong arm, he can certainly hit 95 when he wants to. I think they (both RP and the coaching staff) overly fell in love with the sinker based on the early results - but as we know, that success was based on an untenable BABIP, and so probably should have been taken with a grain of salt.

The tigers have traditionally pushed guys to narrow their repertoire to no more than 3 pitches to concentrate on command. But with a guy like RP, I think there is a risk of locking a guy in before you really even know what he can do, which maybe part of what we have seen in the last two yrs with RP.

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Once he Porcello gets better command of his pitches and learns Jim Price's "Art of Pitching" I think he's going to be something else.

I also think people get too caught up with things like velocity and K to BB ratio. Some of the best pitchers don't throw 95-plus; and if K to BB is so important, then Bert Blyleven and Mike Mussina would have to be counted among the very best pitchers of all time. And they aren't.

Here's a list of the pitchers since 1900 who had the most seasons in the top 5 in strikeout-to-walk ratio:

Walter Johnson 16

Bert Blyleven 13

Mike Mussina 13

Robin Roberts 13

Carl Hubbell 12

Christy Mathewson 12

Greg Maddux 12

Lefty Grove 12

Don Sutton 11

Jim Bunning 11

Randy Johnson 11

They're all great pitchers, and the "usual suspects" of all-time elites like Johnson, Grove, Maddux, Alexander and Matty are represented. But I doubt Bert Blyleven, Don Sutton, Mike Mussina or Jim Bunning would make anyone's all time 25-man roster.

As this author notes, Blyleven had an amazing K-to-BB ratio. But he wasn't anywhere near as great as that stat would suggest. And, on the flip side of that, pitchers like Herb Pennock show it's possible to be great without racking up a ton of K's.

I also think it's a mistake to put too much emphasis on BABIP with a ground ball pitcher. Until a statistic comes along that differentiates between line drives and weak dribblers, I'll continue to use BABIP as a loose guideline, but take it with tablespoons of salt.

Edited by Duane B. Sims

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