Match-ups and this Porcello guy
|06.02.09 at 10:53 am ET|
Detroit Hitters against Daisuke Matsuzaka
Curtis Granderson- .444 AVG/.500 OBP/.889 SLG in 9 AB (1 HR, 2RBI)
Placido Polanco- .200/.333/.200 in 5 AB
Miguel Cabrera- .250/.500 /.250 in 4 AB (2 BB)
Magglio Ordonez- .111/.200/.222 in 9 AB (1 2B, 5 K)
Brandon Inge- .143/.250/.143 in 7 AB
Gerald Laird- .250/.250/.250 in 4 AB
Adam Everett- .000/.000/.000 in 3 AB (2 K)
Active hitters who have never faced Matsuzaka: Clete Thomas, Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago, Jeff Larish, Dane K. Sardinha, and Josh Anderson
Back in box scores of yesteryear, the Detroit Tigers won with young pitching from the likes of Mark Fidrych and Denny McLain. Today, the Motor City ballclub is being propelled by the right arm of young Rick Porcello.
Porcello, a native of Morristown, New Jersey has been turning heads in the AL Central at the tender age of 20. The highly-touted rookie makes his first start against the Red Sox tonight at Comerica Park.
According to Garrett Brolsma, a summer league teammate of Porcello’s, the young righthander possesses a formidable arsenal of pitches. Those pitches have helped Porcello (6-3 3.48 ERA) and his Motor City Mates to the top spot in the American League’s Central Division.
“He hits 95-96 consistently with his fastball,” Brolsma said. “I’ve never seen a fastball with as much movement.”
Brolsma said that Porcello’s heater has a tendency to run inside to right-handed hitters. In addition to the fastball, Porcello throws a devastating slider and change-up.
Porcello came out of Seton Hall Prep High School as a blue-chip baseball prospect. However, like many Scott Boras clients, rumors of signability issues ran rampant around draft time.
Porcello slipped in the first round, and fell to a fortunate Tigers club at 27th overall. Many in his home New Jersey hoped that the hard-throwing hurler would be playing close to home in Yankee pinstripes before the Tigers swooped in.
Detroit signed Porcello to a $7 million deal in August 2007, the highest every awarded to a prospect out of high school. Last year, Porcello went 8-6 with a 2.66 ERA for Class A (Advanced) Lakeland of the Florida League.
Porcello has been compared to another pitcher who made a name for himself at a very young age in the Red Sox Josh Beckett. Porcello has certainly made a good impression on the Tigers’ brass.
According to Brolsma, Porcello is a fierce competitor on the mound and a humble guy off of it. Porcello’s career has come to this point in a whirl-wind fashion, and he hopes to keep his competitive juices flowing for the Tigers.
“”When you think about pitching in the major leagues, you think about pitching in front of those huge crowds,” Porcello said in a March 2009 interview with the Newark Star-Ledger.”It’ll be interesting to see how I feel when I get out on the field, to see if I’m really nervous or if I’m able to calm down.”
As much of a presence as he is on the mound for the Tigers, Rick Porcello has some pretty significant history on the offensive side of the game as well. According to Brolsma, Porcello hit a game-winning grand slam back in high school.
As Major League Baseball’s Interleague Play draws nearer, National League opponents of the Tigers should beware. Rick Porcello has the potential to beat you with his fastball, and in turn launch yours over the fence.
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