Porcello pushed back at Toledo

The Tigers have moved back Rick Porcello’s scheduled start for Triple-A Toledo from Friday and Saturday, leading to speculation that Detroit could be lining up their onetime prized prospect to pitch in front of scouts at Toledo rather than on the road. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com presented the idea, as well as team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski’s unwillingness to list Porcello as “untouchable,” and speculated if he could be a piece in a trade for a starting pitcher such as Arizona’s Dan Haren.

It appears, however, that the Tigers’ decision has more to do with having Porcello rejoin the Tigers next weekend rather than pitch for another team anytime soon. The Tigers have a day-night doubleheader next Saturday at Cleveland, and Dombrowski said earlier this week that one of those games would be a spot start either for somebody from the Minor Leagues or a current reliever. Moving him back a day would set him up to pitch Saturday night on six days’ rest.

The Mud Hens have their All-Star break next Monday through Wednesday, so Porcello can’t be slotted to start Saturday on normal rest. Starting Porcello on Sunday night would make more sense that way, but if that game were to be rained out or his outing rain-shortened, the Tigers would have to ponder other options, or which there are few in Toledo.

Porcello has struggled in his last two starts for the Mud Hens, allowing 10 runs on 17 hits over 13 innings combined. Those numbers don’t add up to a strong resume to start in the big leagues again, but the Tigers don’t have a lot of options. It would be a one-time start until Armando Galarraga rejoins Detroit’s rotation July 20.

A Major League source said the Tigers are not shopping Porcello. As for any trade interest with the Diamondbacks, Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew appears to be a more realistic target than Haren at the moment.

— Jason Beck

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