Rick Porcello will not have to wait long to begin making his case for the Detroit Tigers’ No. 5 starter role. Porcello will start the Tigers’ Grapefruit League opener on Friday against the Atlanta Braves.
The rotation for the first three games, courtesy of MLive’s Chris Iott:
Rick Porcello scheduled to start Friday for the Tigers at the Braves. Anibal Sanchez on Saturday. Justin Verlander on Sunday. #Tigers
— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) February 18, 2013
That setup is a boon for Tigers fans down in Lakeland — both Saturday and Sunday’s games are home contests for the Tigers, meaning Verlander’s first appearance will come in Joker Marchant Stadium.
Detroit hosts the Blue Jays on Saturday, with the Phillies visiting Sunday.
There’s no word yet how many innings those starters will throw or who else will enter the game after them. For comparison’s sake, Doug Fister tossed two no-hit innings in Detroit’s 2012 spring opener (also against the Braves), then was followed by seven different relievers in a 2-0 win.
A two-inning window — or something around 35-40 pitches — seems to be a safe bet for the Tigers’ starters out of the gate.