The last week saw the first major league starts for three big time pitching prospects: The Athletic’s Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson and the Tiger’s Rick Porcello. Let’s take a look at each.
Cahill was the first to go, starting on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In a no decision, the youngster pitched five innings, giving up two earned runs, walking five, and striking out one. One hopes that nerves played a role in his wildness as he is touted as a pitcher with great control who doesn’t walk many. Another indicator that Cahill’s stuff wasn’t quite there is that he only recorded only 7 ground balls compared to 12 fly balls. His sinking 2-seamer is his bread and butter and if that doesn’t translate into the major leagues, he’ll probably play on the downside of his ceiling. Truthfully, I’m excited for his next start and would look for a marked improvement. It’s expected that he’ll go against Seattle on Sunday.
The Tiger’s Rick Porcello went up against a formidable Toronto Blue Jay’s linep on Thursday. While his line may look bad, his start was the most encouraging of the three prospects. He displayed great stuff, a natural ability to get out of jams, and also the ability to miss bats. He cruised through four innings, allowing just one run on several scattered hits before it all started to unravel. He left a pitch in the middle of the zone to Aaron Hill in the bottom of the fifth and he took it for a home run. And to start off the sixth, he left a curve up in the zone to the red hot Adam Lind who also took him deep.
Despite the 7.20 ERA, it was an impressive performance. Following the Blue Jay’s first score, Porcello struck out the next batter, stopping the bleeding. After Hill’s homer, he struck out the next two batters, Alex Rios and Vernon Wells, on just seven pitches. Understandably, he wasn’t given the opportunity to work out of the sixth, but who knows what could have happened. He’s slated to go against the White Sox on Tuesday.
Anderson’s start was pushed back due to the Nick Adenhart tragedy. Instead of pitching against the Angels on Wednesday, he went against Seattle last night to mixed results. He had an absolutely miserable second frame, where he gave up all give of his ERs. Truthfully, I missed this start and would look for any further insight into it. Was his location good? Was his stuff working?