Friday, June 19, 2009

The Tigers without Porcello? Don't even think about it

        Where would the Tigers be without Rick Porcello?
        Not in first place atop the pedestrian American League Center, that’s for sure.
        Despite the heroics of the Tigers’ Big Two, Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson, Porcello leads the team in victories with eight. Which, by the way, is good enough to tie him for fourth best in the AL -- among all pitchers, not just rookies.
        How rare has his performance been?
        Porcello is the first AL pitcher under the age of 21 to win seven out of nine starts since Baltimore Hall of Famer Jim Palmer in 1966. He is the first pitcher in the major leagues to do so since the Mets’ Dwight Gooden in 1985.
        Destined to start the season at Double-A Erie, the 20-year-old right hander has more than rewarded Jim Leyland’s faith in him.
        With both Jeremy Bonderman and Dontrelle Willis back on the disabled list, Armando Galarraga winless since April and Nate Robertson continuing to struggle (7.97 ERA) in the bullpen, the Tigers don’t even like to think about where they would be right now without Porcello.


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