Rick Porcello Shelled Again, Ryan Perry to the DL


Well, so much for that. If you missed last night’s game, congratulations. There wasn’t much to see. Final score: Chicago 15, Detroit 3. Ugh.

Things started out so well for the Detroit Nine, Rick Porcello retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, allowing a solo homer to Alexei Ramirez in the third, but nothing else.

Then Chicago opened the fourth with five consecutive hits, scoring three runs, before Porcello recorded the first out of the frame. No sooner had that out been recorded, Porcello served up a long three-run homer to Ramon Castro, then gave up a double off the wall to Gordon Beckham, who would eventually score the eighth run after Porcello had mercifully been yanked from the game. (…)

By the time Eddie Bonine had finished the fourth innings, the Sox held an 8-1 edge and hung a season-high seven runs on the Tigers in that inning. They enjoyed the seven-run frame so much, that they did it again in the eighth, those runs coming against Bonine and Fu-Te Ni.

Porcello had entered the game last night with a 5.25 ERA. After the book was closed on him it was sitting at 6.09. This simply cannot continue.

During the innings after Porcello was pulled, the Twittersphere was blowing up with fans plotting travel arrangements for young Mr. Porcello. Surely, we all figured, he was on his way to the minor leagues. Bonine had been kept in to try to close out the game, he was obviously being stretched out to make the start in five days.

Or not, I guess.

Bonine ran into a great deal of trouble late, leading to the second huge inning for Chicago. Perhaps he’s really is just better in shorter relief outings, he’s been great in that role so far this year.

After the game, the Tigers announced that they were purchasing the contract of RH Enrique Gonzalez from AAA Toledo. There it is, Porcello was to be optioned out, right?

Nope. Instead, RH reliever Ryan Perry was sent to the disabled list to make room for Gonzalez. Wait, what?

Perry is DL’d with right shoulder tendinitis, which is a euphemism for having allowed 10 hits and nine earned runs over his last three innings. Last year, the Tigers would have called that an anxiety disorder, perhaps.

Not that Detroit is the only club that uses the disabled list this way, just look at the Mets, who have decided that Oliver Perez‘s inability to throw strikes should be classified as a knee problem. Regardless of whether or not Perry is actually hurt or just being shut down for a while, calling up Gonzalez, a starter, to take his place doesn’t seem to make much sense.

Porcello obviously won’t be pitching for at least a few days, and with Bonine having thrown 66 pitches last night, neither will he. Perry is a reliever as well, and now he’s unavailable. So why recall a starter?

There are any number of quality relief arms in Toledo right now, there should be, Dave Dombrowski has spent the better part of a decade stockpiling them. But instead of giving the promotion to Jay Sborz or Dan Schlereth, or even Casey Fien, they called up a starter and will now apparently ask him to work from the bullpen. Using a pitcher in unfamiliar surroundings in an unfamiliar role seems like a bad idea.

I understand calling up Gonzalez if Porcello was being demoted, as he should be. Gonzalez would have slotted nicely into the rotation until Porcello could work out his problems, and figure out that he should probably try throwing his curveball again. In fairness, I’ve heard that the abandonment of the curve was the Tigers idea, not Porcello’s, might be time to re-think that one.

Maybe Porcello will be working in relief for a while, but again, an unfamiliar role for a struggling pitcher seems odd when there are so many built-in relief options. Or it could be that Porcello will be sent down at some point before his next scheduled start, whatever happens, I am hoping against hope that Porcello doesn’t make his turn in five days.

The Tigers can’t afford to keep surrendering games by running him out there.