Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 2/27/13
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Detroit Tigers have six pitchers fighting for five spots in the starting rotation. Rick Porcello got his second chance to audition for Tigers manager Jim Leyland on Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves and gave up three runs in three innings, his longest outing of the spring. Porcello, however, didn't make the impression he wanted to make. The Tigers' first round pick in 2007 (27th overall) started out by giving up a single, hitting a batter and allowing a long home run to Juan Francisco. The homer came on a fastball that Leyland said four times in his postgame press conference was the wrong pitch to throw. "He knows better than that," Leyland said. "It was a judgment mistake. It won't happen again." Porcello settled down after the long ball and gave up only one more run. He knew the fastball with runners on second and third was a mistake. "That was just a bad fastball and a bad idea," Porcello said. "I was trying something and it didn't work." Porcello was considered one of the sure things in the Detroit rotation, but he struggled in 2012, going 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA. He pitched out of the bullpen in the postseason after starting 31 games for the Tigers, but he might be left out this year. Former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander is the ace and Max Scherzer and Doug Fister round out the top three, leaving Drew Smyly, Anibal Sanchez, and Porcello to compete out for the final two spots. Porcello said he isn't getting down on himself. At 24, he knows he is still developing. "I am still working on everything, so a bad fastball isn't going to bother me," Porcello said. "I feel good and there's no extra pressure fighting for a spot in the rotation. I have never taken a spot in the rotation to be something for granted and I never will. I just have to do my own job." Leyland said he appreciates Porcello's confidence and isn't ready to make judgments based on one long home run. "He made a mistake that I know he won't make during the season," Leyland said. "He's got it all figured out and he's confident. He just made a mistake. Leyland was asked if he spoke to Porcello about the fastball that got away. "It's already handled," Leyland said, ending the discussion. Tim Hudson started for the Braves and went three innings, allowing two runs in his longest outing of the spring. He gave up a long homer to Prince Fielder, but said he felt fine. "There are things I still need to work on," Hudson said. "Prince hit a cutter that didn't cut. Every spring is about getting ready and it is really just a process of getting ready for the season. I don't care how I do right now, it's all about being ready four weeks from now." Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez wasn't concerned about the home run or anything else when it came to Hudson. "I saw a lot of good things," Gonzalez said. "It was a good outing. He wants all shutout innings but he'll be ready when it is time." Jordan Schafer, Chris Johnson, Joey Terdoslavich, and Francisco all had two hits for the Braves. Don Kelly homered for the Tigers. NOTES: Sanchez, Trevor Bell,. Luis Marte, Jose Alvarez, Kenny Faulk, Ryan Robowski, and Darin Downs are set to pitch for the Tigers on Thursday at Tampa Bay. . Paul Maholm will start for the Braves on Thursday against the Phillies in Clearwater. . Tigers OF Brennan Boesch is still sidelined with a oblique strain. OF Andy Dirks is still day to day with an intercostal strain, and OF Quintin Berry was scratched with soreness in his left knee. . The Tigers played their expected opening-day lineup with the exception of their injured left fielders.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker