The Tigers have announced Rick Porcello will be bumped from his last scheduled start tonight in Miami. Taking over for game one against the Marlins will be rookie lefty Jose Alvarez. The Tigers still plan on Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander taking their regular rotation turns on Saturday and Sunday.
Today's move all but screams "Porcello to the bullpen for the playoffs."
The Tigers switching to a four man playoff rotation for the playoffs, Porcello was expected to be the odd man out. Porcello has worked out of the bullpen in both the 2011 and 2012 post seasons, with a fair amount of success. The 24 year old pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in last year's playoffs, not allowing a run in 1 1/3 innings of work. Porcello's last post season start was in game four of the 2011 ALCS, allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings, taking the loss.
In 2013, Porcello is 13-8 with a 4.38 ERA in 30 appearances, though his second half was markedly better than the first (6-6, 4.80 ERA vs. 7-2, 3.82 ERA).
Alvarez (1-4, 5.50 ERA) will be making his sixth start for the Tigers this season.
The Porcello move will be the first of several as the Tigers prepare for the post season. An extended layoff on the horizon due the ALDS not starting until next Friday, it's expected the Tigers will use their bullpen extensively this weekend in order to get everyone as much work as possible.