Found March 30, 2013 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
LAKELAND, Fla. Despite all of the trade rumors and talk of competition between him and Drew Smyly for the final spot in the starting rotation, it was a relatively uneventful, quiet spring for Rick Porcello.
So when Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced earlier in the week that Porcello would be in the rotation and Smyly would be in the bullpen, Porcello was completely unfazed.
"Definitely coming into camp I fully expected to be a starting pitcher," Porcello said. "I said the entire time through camp, my mindset was that I'm going to be starting. Nothing else was really an option. I think that just kind of almost helped take the focus off of everything else, I just kind of focused on preparing like I would any other spring."
But this wasn't any other spring for Porcello.
In the offseason, Porcello set out to completely revamp his mechanics. He wasn't satisfied with going 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA and 1.53 WHIP last season.
"Really kind of changed my delivery, got back to basics a little bit," Porcello said. "I almost started from scratch this offseason. Kind of just rebuilt everything. That's helped consistency on all my pitches and keeping the ball down in the zone and everything."
Catcher Alex Avila said the way Porcello starts his delivery looks very similar to how it did last year, but the finish is different.
"He's following through a little bit more, which I think has allowed him to have more command of his pitches," Avila said. "He's gotten stronger over the last few years. The life on his fastball, there's a big difference. Probably the biggest difference is his breaking ball."
Those results showed this spring. In Grapefruit League games, Porcello had six starts, going 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. He had 21 strikeouts and zero walks.
Porcello did walk two in a minor league game.
He finished his spring in a minor league game Saturday, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out two for Double-A Erie back in Lakeland.
"I think just trying to keep the ball down, throw strikes," Porcello said of his lack of free passes. "You're going to walk guys. Everybody's human. Being able to limit those, and I think the quality strikes are what's most important."
Avila said Porcello's thrown plenty of quality pitches this spring with better command than he's ever had.
"Not only the life on his pitches, his stuff, plus the command he has, there's a difference there," Avila said. "I think his new delivery and everything that he's worked on has allowed him to really trust that four-seam anytime without relying so much on the sinker. He's definitely in a position to make a step forward with the type of pitcher he's going to be with an entire arsenal, not just one pitch."
Porcello just turned 24 this past December so even though he's won 48 games at the big league level, he's still learning and growing as a player.
"I think he's shown a lot of character in the way he handled the rumor stuff, the way he approached his job this spring," Leyland said. "I think he's a very good major league pitcher that's getting better."
That's exactly what Porcello intends to do as he enters his fifth season in the major leagues get better and help his team win.
"I think the biggest goal is consistency, that's my goal every year," Porcello said. "I know I'm capable of pitching at a high level and I think being able to deliver that every fifth day, that's what everybody tries to do."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
DETROIT, Michigan --
It's just about that time of year, Tigers fans! The weather may not feel like it, but baseball season is finally upon us. The Detroit Tigers are out to repeat as American League Champions and look to get back to the World Series. Here is your 2013 Detroit Tigers season preview:
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The Detroit Tigers and pitcher Justin Verlander have agreed to a seven-year $180 million deal. The vesting option for an eight year could bring the total to $220 million according to the Detroit Free Press.
Verlander had two years and $40 million remaining on his current deal.
“Justin is one of the premier pitchers in baseball, and we are thrilled to keep him in a Tigers uniform...
Welcome to the Fantasy Fix Closer Report, our weekly look at closer situations around the league. I hope to provide you with pertinent and timely information for leagues of all shapes and sizes. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment or shoot me an email or tweet.
Enough of the introduction, let’s get to the news that will help you in your drafts this week.
Justin Verlander will be a part of the Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff through at least the 2019 season. That much is certain after Verlander signed a five-year extension, with an option for a sixth season, that could keep Verlander in the Motor City through 2020.
The deal reportedly is worth $140 million over those five extra years; the vesting-option year carries an additional...
Just announced, Justin Verlander has signed a 5 year and 180 million dollar extension with the Detroit Tigers, keeping him in a Detroit uniform until at least 2019. The deal includes a vesting option for 202o which could make the deal worth up to 202 million. The conditions of the vesting option are yet to be announced. This makes Verlander the highest paid pitcher in baseball history...
It was a good Friday, indeed.
Justin Verlander signed a contract extension through 2019 that could vest to include 2020. It will allow him to buy another Aston Martin or two or 20, a small island, his own golf course or a mansion for every member of his family.
Verlander has the richest contract ever given a pitcher and will collect either 180 million or 202 million by the time...
The Tigers and Giants each made a significant investment on Friday. Each deal was monumental, and each was necessary.
The Tigers signed Justin Verlander to a five-year contract extension that will take him through the 2019 season. The right-hander reportedly will earn $180 million over the next seven seasons, and a $22 million vesting option for the 2020 season could bring the total...
Detroit Tigers ace starting pitcher Justin Verlander signed a five-year extension on Friday that could be worth up to $202 million through 2020.
Verlander’s five year deal is worth $140 million which will keep him in Detroit through 2019. The contract also includes a one-year vesting agreement for 2020 that is worth $22 million.
Combined with the 40 million Verlander is still owed...
Ahh, Opening Day. Every team is in first place. Every fan has hopes for the post season. If at least for one day.
I remember the start of the ’07 season. Coming off a 2006 WS appearance (which looked inevitable mid-season, impossible in September, and then undeniable in October), I hoped the addition of Gary Sheffield and another year of experience for Robertson, Maroth and Verlander...
Felix Hernandez wasn't the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history for very long.
Justin Verlander signed a five-year contract extension with the Detroit Tigers Friday that will give him that distinction.
Verlander's new deal includes a $28 million annual salary beginning with the 2015 season, multiple sources confirmed to FOXSports.com. On top of his preexisting deal...
Batter up? More like bundle up.
The Detroit Tigers open the season on Monday in frosty Minnesota, where forecasts call for temperature in the low 30s at game time at outdoor Target Field. The wind chill is expected to be around 20 degrees. So the Tigers will need all the heat they can get from Justin Verlander's 100 mph fastballs.
''It's going to be cold but I&...
Prince Fielder caught the last out as the Detroit Tigers swept the New York Yankees and advanced to the World Series last October. Might there be a repeat this year? (multimediaimpre, AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, Fickr)
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