to a tweet from The News' Tom Gage, second-year right hander Rick Porcello will get th..."/> to a tweet from The News' Tom Gage, second-year right hander Rick Porcello will get th..."/>

Porcello to Start Home Opener

facebooktwitterreddit

According to a tweet from The News‘ Tom Gage, second-year right hander Rick Porcello will get the ball in the Tigers’ home opener on April 9 versus Cleveland.

In addition to Justin Verlander, a foregone conclusion to take the ball in the season opener at Kansas City, newcomer Max Scherzer will make his Tigers debut in the second game of the year on April 7. If healthy, right hander Jeremy Bonderman figures to start the finale against the Royals.

The battle for the fifth starter likely won’t matter for the first week of the regular year, as Verlander would be on normal rest if he were to pitch the Saturday against Cleveland. The first time the Tigers would need a fifth starter would be April 13 at home against the Royals.

While it looks like a demotion for Porcello, who established himself as the second-best pitcher down the stretch last year, the honor of the home opening start is one Jim Leyland likes to give to reward to pitcher when his club opens on the road. Last season, Armando Galarraga made the first start in Detroit, after the Tigers opened in Toronto, as a reward for his stellar 2008 season.

Porcello won 14 games as a 20-year-old rookie in 2009, while losing only nine. He finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.