Friday, April 11, 2008

If Willis Moves Onto DL: Tigers Should Call Up Porcello

The Detroit Tigers (who as of this writing are actually winning, 3-2, over the Chicago White Sox) need not panic or make any major moves because of their incredibly horrendous and embarrassing start to the season. Yes, the bullpen may need a tune-up or two, but the offense will come around (eventually).

One move the Tigers may be forced to make though, is to call up a pitcher from the minor leagues to replace Dontrelle Willis, who left to tonight's game with a hyper-extended knee. And even though they probably won't, the Detroit Tigers should call up phenom Rick Porcello to take his place.

With all of the moves the Tigers have made the past two years (trades for Gary Sheffield, Edgar Renteria, Miguel Cabrera, and Willis) no part of the Tigers farm system has suffered more than the starting pitching depth. Humberto Sanchez, Jair Jurrjens, Andrew Miller, Dallas Trahern, Burke Badenhop, others, are all gone. As

As for current Tigers who may be able to replace Willis, Jordan Tata himself is on the Disabled List after struggling this spring and taking his frustrations out on a steel door. The only real option in either AAA or AA is Virgil Vasquez, and while Vasquez is decent, and has started a few games for Detroit before, he's very bland. And if there's something the Tigers need right now to snap them out of think funk they have started the season in, it won't be found with Virgil Vasquez.

But it may be found in the phenom Rick Porcello, who many believe, despite not yet turning 20, could be a successful major league pitcher. In two starts in Class A Lakeland, Porcello has yet to surrender an earned run (he gave up four unearned runs in his last start) and has struck out 7 in 10 innings while walking only two. And this would be very much unlike the call up of Andrew Miller a few seasons back. Porcello would know, no matter how well he pitched, he was going back to Class A as soon as Willis was healthy. This would allow him to gain some invaluable experience without any real pressure.

And who knows, maybe he can provide the Tigers a spark. And besides all of that, he may, honestly, be the Tigers best minor league pitcher right now. The most capable of being successful in the major leagues. And while that may not be a great sign for the Tigers farm system at the moment, it should not be ignored by Jim Leyland when he considers whether Porcello or Vasquez should get the call should Willis be placed on the Disabled List.

Add To: Digg! Reddit Del.Icio.Us Stumble


Anonymous said...

If the experiment with Maybin was any indication, bringing up Porcello too quickly could have detrimental effects to the development of the Tigers' possible #1 starter of the future. Maybe making the playoffs this year is not worth the wear and tear on porcello's arm.


© New Blogger Templates | Webtalks