May 12, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Detroit Tigers starting Rick Porcello (21) throws in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Porcello Could Make Max Scherzer Expendable

The Detroit Tigers have the best rotation in  baseball. A rotation led by former Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander and reigning award winner Max Scherzer. Most any baseball fan much less a Tiger fan knows that.

But what most fans don’t realize is that much of the teams early season pitching success can be attributed to Rick Porcello.

The Tigers #4 starter is off to a 7-1 start after shutting down the Boston Red Sox on Saturday. A start manager Brad Ausmus said was his best of the season. That is saying a lot considering 2014 represents the best start of Rick Porcello’s career.

It is easy to forget how young Rick Porcello is. He broke into the major leagues at the age of 20 and since then has won at least 10 games in each of his 6 major league seasons. Not many active pitchers can claim a streak like that.

So what does this mean for the Tigers moving forward? It means that Detroit could part ways with Max Scherzer at the end of the season and not miss a beat.

Rick Porcello has seemed to put it all together this season. He is on track to set career best marks in nearly every statistical category. With six years of major league experience under his belt coupled with the fact that he is entering the prime age range (26), it is safe to assume Porcello would have no problem taking a more prominent role in the Detroit Tigers rotation next season.

One could even argue that for Porcello to reach the next level he would need to have the challenge of pitching at the front of the rotation. Scherzer leaving at the end of the season for free agency would give Porcello the opportunity to move up.

It is only May and there is a lot of baseball to play but if Porcello can produce like this the entire season it will make it easy for Dave Dombrowski to let Scherzer walk. Detroit could then spend the $145 million offered to Max before the season, elsewhere.

Tags: Detroit Tigers Rick Porcello

  • David Andrews

    Here is a better idea… Lets keep MAX! And Justin, Rick and Drew. That leaves two pitchers competing for one spot coming out of spring training next year after the Tigers have won the World Series

    What? – Why? – You mean we really have to play the next 130 games?

    Well, maybe we should leave hot stove issues for December and January and worry about getting enough runs to support our only losing starter tonight!

    • Darlene Helisek

      I agree with you, David, To win, we MUST keep Max, Rick, JV, and Drew. Maybe one reason Max wants to leave (besides money, which Tigers can afford) because he should have started opening day since he won the Cy Young, but they let JV pitch because of past performances. Maybe he doesn’t feel appreciated by the higher ups. But, we, the fans love him. Here’s another idea, get rid of Coke, that would save us in 2 ways. Money ~ maybe we could get what he’s worth (pennies on the dollar), and we would win more games. Win-win situation!

  • Bored

    If Porcello continues to pitch well, he’s going to become more expensive, too. He may end up eating much of what would be saved by not retaining Scherzer.