Porcello at work on the mound during off-day
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Rick Porcello is getting used to the feeling of a lost off-day and an empty clubhouse. He had it again Wednesday.
While the Tigers had their lone off-day of the Grapefruit League schedule Wednesday, Porcello had to pitch. It was his turn in the rotation, and unlike the regular season, the Tigers line up their starters to throw every five days when healthy in order to build up their arms and stay on turn for a regular-season assignment.
The Tigers always set aside the next-to-last Wednesday of camp for an off-day. And Porcello's day to pitch almost always seems to fall on it.
"I've done it three times," Porcello counted, no doubt noting the lost fishing time.
Thus, the Tigers put together an intrasquad game on the back fields of the Tigertown complex, giving Porcello a lineup of mostly Double-A level hitters to face. He mowed through the lineup the first trip through before giving up some damage the second time around.
Porcello allowed two runs on six hits over six innings, walking one and striking out three. He threw 53 of 84 pitches for strikes, but he was doing more than simply getting his work in.
"I'm definitely working on getting the ball down and being more consistent with my sinker," Porcello said. "I was able to do that today and made some mechanical adjustments to put me back on track with that."
The adjustments involved not leaving the pitching rubber too quickly and putting his body too far out in front of his arm in his delivery. Otherwise, Porcello leaves pitches up. It's an adjustment he might have struggled to make a couple of years ago.
"I think when I'm off, I'm able to recognize some things a little quicker now," Porcello said. "I know my delivery a little bit better. I think the adjustments are definitely quicker. The important thing is for me to be able to make those adjustments in the game and not after the game."