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 Tigers: Porcello, Perry, Bonine & Rincon make the team!

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PostSubject: Tigers: Porcello, Perry, Bonine & Rincon make the team!   Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:15 pm

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Tigers: Porcello in starting rotation, Perry in bullpen
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. -- The Tigers told rookie right-handed pitcher Rick Porcello on Wednesday that he has earned a spot in the starting rotation.

The news follows an impressive outing Tuesday by Porcello, 20, who allowed two hits over five innings in a 7-2 loss to Washington.

The Tigers continued the process of getting down to the 25-player roster limit. Their moves Wednesday ensured that another rookie, right-hand reliever Ryan Perry, would start the season in the Tigers' major-league bullpen.

Also earning bullpen jobs with the Tigers were fellow right-handers Eddie Bonine and Juan Rincon.

The Tigers optioned outfielder/infielder Ryan Raburn and left-hand reliever Clay Rapada to Triple-A Toledo. They also placed third baseman Mike Hessman on waivers, and reassigned pitcher Scott Williamson and catcher Dane Sardinha to minor league camp.

Hessman will wait to see if he is claimed by another major league team during the waiver period. If he is not claimed, he said he would accept an assignment to Toledo. But Hessman added that one of his "top priorities" would be to pursue playing opportunities in Japan.

"I'm not getting any younger," said Hessman, 31. "A couple of teams over there have expressed interest in me in the past."


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers: Porcello, Perry, Bonine & Rincon make the team!   Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:50 pm

I think they are rushing Porcello

He should have another half season in the minors at least


Look what happened to Andrew Miller when they brought him up too fast
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers: Porcello, Perry, Bonine & Rincon make the team!   Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:50 pm

Sucks Hessman can't get a spot
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers: Porcello, Perry, Bonine & Rincon make the team!   Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:26 pm

04/01/09 7:15 PM ET
Tigers confident in Perry, Porcello
Organization officials in complete agreement rookies belong

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The easiest answer, manager Jim Leyland said, would've been no. In the end, Leyland said, nobody gave that answer on either Rick Porcello or Ryan Perry.

"Are we right? I don't know," Leyland said Wednesday after the Tigers finalized their pitching staff, with Porcello and Perry on it. "We think we are. I think the easiest thing is to say, 'They're not ready.' Anybody can say no.

"I think they're very talented. They've got good faces. We'll see how it plays out. But I'll tell you this, everybody voted for them."

The fact that the Tigers said yes on both of them is fitting. They came into camp as a duo, both former first-round Draft picks. They've stayed at the same apartment in town, and they've been inseparable at times this Spring Training. They also earned comparisons to another young Tigers duo, Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya, who made the club in 2006.

So when team officials had their answer on Bloom (Perry?) and Porcello, Leyland brought them into his office at the same time rather than individually, which he does with almost every other player. He then sat down the two kids and tried to tell them that they didn't make the club as an April Fool's joke. They didn't really bite.

"To be honest, I think they both knew I was fooling," Leyland said, "because they both knew they were good enough."

That's part of what got them here. They both knew they could compete for a job, Leyland said, no matter the inexperience. They won their jobs by showing the poise to pitch beyond their years.

There were subtle differences in the two. In Porcello's case, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said, they knew going in that he was a "special situation," a term that Dombrowski said he has used maybe five or six times in around 30 years in baseball. Porcello came to Spring Training as a long shot, but still a legitimate shot. His maturity was known, as was what Dombrowski called a "nasty, nasty sinker."

The more Porcello pitched, and the more other candidates struggled, the more his candidacy picked up. In some ways, he was more consistent on the mound than others beyond his experience level, save for a two-game hiccup after a cut on his right middle finger prevented him from pitching on the side, much less pitching in games. He allowed four earned runs on 16 hits over 13 2/3 innings this spring, striking out seven. He gave up more than one run in an outing only once, and more than one walk in an outing just twice.

As much as Leyland tries to downplay the notion of one outing making a difference in a player's case, he admitted that Porcello's final performance Tuesday against the Nationals played into his thinking. It was after back-to-back subpar outings, including three hits and three walks over 2 1/3 inning against the Rays in a night game.

With decisions looming, Porcello was efficient in his execution, sending down the first nine Nats in order on his way to a Spring Training high of five innings with a lone unearned run allowed. He induced 10 ground-ball outs, compared with just three in the air.

"That did play into it," Leyland said. "I'm assuming that he knew he wasn't just going out there for exercise. And I thought the way he handled himself above and beyond just struck me. I don't know if that was the thing that tipped it for sure."

Porcello will make his Major League debut next Thursday afternoon at Toronto in the series finale against the Blue Jays. His first start at Comerica Park will likely come Tuesday, April 14, in a day game against the White Sox.

Perry, Dombrowski said, was more of an unknown besides the initial wow factor. Though many believed he could move quickly through the system, this kind of speed was something else. Perry couldn't simply earn a job on the strength of an upper-90s fastball; he had to show a feel for pitching that would convince Detroit officials he could retire big league hitters.

"In Perry's case, I really wasn't thinking that he would make our big league club coming in here," Dombrowski said, "but I knew that he would open a lot of eyes."

Perry gave up a lone run on eight hits over 10 2/3 innings with seven walks and 11 strikeouts. He lit up radar guns, but his location and patterns grew more impressive as time went on. By mixing his fastball with his slider and retiring hitters rather than simply overpowering them, he threw the Tigers a bit of a curve.

"Watching him, I think he's gotten better all the time," Leyland said.

Said Dombrowski: "The thing that got him is his composure, the way he's handled things. He's just very comfortable in this setting. I don't know, I guess if you're that good, you're quietly confident, because he doesn't seem intimidated whatsoever."

One possible reason to say no on either of them might've been the workload. Perry spent last year pitching at the University of Arizona, not an everyday schedule. Porcello pitched in the Florida State League on a 75-pitch limit each start. Dombrowski said that the Tigers can monitor workloads better than some believe, and that Porcello's quick outs can make his innings less stressful than those for others.

"If we're going to increase [Porcello's] workload from 120 to 160 innings, well, we can do that at the Major League level or at the Minor League level," Dombrowski said. "If he was going to pitch 100-110 pitches at the Minor League level, we can do that at the big league level."

The intensity level, obviously, is different. So is the experience. The confidence level is pretty high.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers: Porcello, Perry, Bonine & Rincon make the team!   Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:34 pm

Another case of bad editing in a Jason Beck article! His name is Perry, not Bloom!


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers: Porcello, Perry, Bonine & Rincon make the team!   Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:07 am

Kaline and others reflect on Perry and Porcello's accomplishment

By JOHN LOWE • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • April 1, 2009

Rookies Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry made the Tigers’ Opening Day club today, and here’s what some people in the Tigers clubhouse said about the news:

Tigers pitcher Zach Miner:

“They both handle themselves like big leaguers. They both, obviously, have big- league stuff. They both threw well. Put it all together, and there you have it. Obviously, they’re both young, but they’ve got a lot of talent and they handled themselves well and they get along with everybody.

“When they go out there, they’re not young rookies. The wins and losses and stats don’t care how old you are if you give up a run or lose a game. Other hitters aren’t going to take it easy on them because they’re young.”

As for Porcello’s pitching style, Miner said: “It’s easy for a young kid who’s got a low-to-mid-90s fastball to forget about pitching and getting ground balls and instead be obsessed about getting strikeouts. That’s a big thing. By pitching and going for grounders, he’ll save pitches and save his arm.

“It’s great to get up to the majors early in your career, but you want to stay up here for a long time. That’s the biggest key. You don’t want to be up here a few years and throw your arm out. You want to sustain.”

Catcher Matt Treanor:

“What stands out is how they carry themselves on the field. Both of them act more mature than what their birth certificates say.”

Treanor, on Perry: “When we played the Cardinals, they had a pitcher named (Jason) Motte, and he was throwing 95-96 and grunting -- a max-effort-type guy. In the next half-inning, here comes Perry free and easy with 97 and 98. He doesn’t even put a whole lot of effort into his delivery. That’s a good thing for him. He’s not maxing out every pitch. He knows what he wants to do, and he’s able to stay relaxed and bring that kind of velocity.”

Al Kaline:

Porcello will be 20 throughout this season, just as Kaline was 20 throughout the 1955 season, when he won the American League batting title.

Kaline was asked this morning what’s the key to staying focused when you’re that young and in the big leagues.

“That word ‘focused’ is key,” Kaline said. “Now all of a sudden, he is going to be in jet planes, in great hotels, in great restaurants. He can’t lose sight of what he’s there for. Every day he puts on a uniform, he has to get focused and realize he’s got a job do. Don’t get carried away with all the perks you’ve got as a major league player, because nobody ever gets this game made completely. It’s a humbling experience.

“As a pitcher, if you make your pitches, you can get Babe Ruth out. That’s what (Porcello) has got to focus on -- where he wants to throw the ball, not worry about the names on the back of the jerseys of the players he’s facing. That shouldn’t matter. He’s got a job to do: throw the ball where he wants to.

“He’s going to get hit sometimes, and he’s going to make good pitches sometimes. But his focus has got to be on every pitch and not be worried about the outcome. He’s got a job to do. If he can come off the mound and say, ‘I made a good pitch and they got a hit off me and they hurt me,’ you’ve got to give the hitters credit.

“They say, ‘Play baseball,’ and it is play baseball. But in a sense, it is a job. When you put your uniform on and go out on the field, you’ve got to have a focus. It’s OK to have fun. You like to see guys loose. But in the back of your mind, you’ve got to be focused and know this is a business and I’ve got teammates that are relying on me. That’s exactly what this is, a team game.”


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers: Porcello, Perry, Bonine & Rincon make the team!   Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

I dont know if they are rushing Porcello, but I really hope not, we could really use him instead of D Train.
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