Rick Porcello Demoted to Toledo


The Tigers have done all they can with second-year right hander Rick Porcello. A season after he took the American League by storm as a 20-year old phenom who won 14 games before he could legally drink, Porcello has been optioned out to AAA Toledo.

The move was announced during the second inning of yesterday’s 3-1 victory over Arizona, just a day after Porcello’s latest poor start.

The Tigers skipped his previous turn through the rotation in hopes of avoiding this move. They tried working through his problems with a few bullpen sessions. Manager Jim Leyland classified those sessions as “very good”, but cautioned that they still needed to see results during games.

Those results didn’t come on Saturday, the Tigers lone loss on a nine game homestand, and they won’t come for at least a couple of weeks, not with Detroit, anyway. (…)

Late last night, TigsTown.com reported that RHP Jay Sborz will be recalled to take Porcello’s roster spot. Sborz, the Tigers second round pick back in 2002, will join the club on the road to New York where they will battle to Mets starting on Tuesday.

There has been no official word on who will take over for Porcello in the rotation, but it will be either Eddie Bonine or Enrique Gonzalez. Sborz will work in relief.

Neither Porcello’s demotion nor Sborz’s recall should come as much of a surprise. Porcello really hasn’t been good since very early in the season and the Major League staff has been unable to solve the puzzle of his ineffectiveness. The minor league assignment is probably a few weeks overdue.

Sborz spend the majority of his early minor league career toiling as a starter, but since shifting to relief work has enjoyed much more success. He’s a hard-thrower who saved 15 games for the MudHens this season and has struck out 285 batters in 279 minor league innings over his career.

Porcello tossed seven scoreless innings against the Yankees on May 12, but in six starts since then he has allowed 47 hits and 23 earned runs in just 33.2 innings.