Max Scherzer planned to start pitching this week (a.k.a. he's not hurt), Rick Porcello is struggling to find a breaking pitch, and Luke Putkonen might be our long reliever. These stories and more in today's Morning Prowl.
Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer set to make spring debut Sunday, says delay was by design
MLive, James Schmehl
Given how Scherzer performed in his first couple regular season starts last season, maybe he should have started that long-toss program a bit sooner this year.
Wednesday wrapup: So, about that Porcello slider …
Beck's Blog, Jason Beck
Something tells me that Porcello's struggles with a breaking pitch may be coming from Jim Leyland mixing and matching catchers with him more often than other pitchers on the Tigers' staff. This would be an interesting topic for further investigation (cough FanPost cough).
Splitter gives Luke Putkonen chance to be Tigers' long reliever
The Detroit News, Lynn Henning
I would be a fan of this move, and not only because it keeps Drew Smyly in Toledo. Putkonen didn't pitch well early on in the bigs, but seemed to calm down after a few rocky outings.
"If the Tigers experience injuries to the outfield this year, Ben Guez might just get the call-up this time, especially if they need a right-handed bat. Andy Dirks, Brennan Boesch and Quintin Berry are all left-handed hitters, so Guez provides something different, especially if Jeff Kobernus doesn't make the team."
"Lord knows, the Royals were in need of help. Kansas City’s starters ranked 12th in the American League in ERA (5.01) and batting average against (.283) and logged a mere 890 innings last season. Among the 14 AL teams, only Minnesota's rotation threw fewer innings."
Phil Hughes may not be ready for the start of the season
HardballTalk, Drew Silva
The names mentioned for possible short-term replacements for Hughes should make you feel a lot better about Rick Porcello's outing yesterday.