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The Promise of Rick Porcello

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As a Tigers blogger and fan (I don't think they're always the same thing), I'm trying not to get too excited about Rick Porcello. It's not that I don't want to hear how he's impressing coaches, teammates, and observers. And I definitely look forward to the day he takes the mound wearing the Olde English D.

It's more like I know - or at least, I'm telling myself - that Porcello not going to be part of the 25-man roster that debuts in Toronto the first week of April. And I'm trying to worship at the Church of What's Happenin' Now, if you know what I mean.

However, when I see Tim Brown fawning over him in his column for Yahoo! Sports, wondering if the Tigers might have no other choice than to add him to the starting rotation... well, my right knee starts bobbing up and down. And I can't stop it.

Porcello throws right-handed and, considering his body can only now be peaking at 6-foot-5, with uncommon ease. His four-seam fastball runs in the mid-90s and reliably to the mitt. In 125 Class A innings over his only professional summer, Porcello commanded four pitches, including the one everyone adores, a heavy two-seamer. He showed up to his second camp pounding both sides of the plate with all of them, drawing sighs from hitters and there-you-go’s from catcher Matt Treanor.

In six weeks, if this is truly who Porcello is, and if last season’s starting rotation is still what it was, the Tigers will have their answer.

Obviously, if Porcello is one of the best starting pitchers in camp, the Tigers will be faced with a problem. But it'd be the nicest kind of problem to have.

And there's certainly nothing wrong with beat writers and national reporters coming to Lakeland, and being impressed by a 20-year-old phenom who's apparently making hitters look silly in batting practice. But it all makes me want to push my hands to the ground and tell everyone to simma down now.

Is this silly of me or do I just need to embrace the promise of future greatness, one that seems to be steaming toward us like a freight train?

(via Big League Stew)