Jerry Green (flips open wallet with pre-installed Ruth Chatterton photo intact) BBWAA Badge #2 at your service.
It is time for some logic, I say from my perch, long distance.
Presto — Rick Porcello just might make the highly qualified closer the Tigers are seeking.
He might — who knows? — be another Dennis Eckerlsey. A decent starting pitcher who suffered one poor season converted into a better than decent closer.
...Eckersley made it as a dominant closer when his fastball throttled down. His best pitch was a slider — the groundball pitch.
By coincidence, Porcello’s best pitch is his slider.
Once upon a time — the same year as Eckersley was being converted by La Russa’s logic into a Hall of Fame closer — the Tigers had a young pitcher of high promise in their farm system. They traded the kid away so they could win their division in September.
The trade worked. There was logic used. Doyle Alexander pitched the Tigers into the postseason playoffs.
But the Tigers are still hearing from the criticism crabs for trading away John Smoltz to the Braves.
Odd — many of the finest closers in the history of baseball entered the majors as starters, just like Eckersley. Among such pitchers were Hall of Famers Hoyt Wilhelm and Rollie Fingers, the great Rivera himself, and also Johnny Smoltz.
And even odder, there are just two pitchers in all the 137 years that professional baseball has been played who have won 20 games as starters and later saved 50 games as closers, in separate seasons.
Dennis Eckersley is one of these multi-talented athletes. John Smoltz — traded away by the Tigers in a deal still controversial 26 years later — is the other.
This one time a trial with Porcello is more logical than another trade.
Posted: March 16, 2013 at 11:21 PM | 37 comment(s)
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