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« Matt Moore's Not Fooling Lefties | Main | Inside Heat Hurting Adrian Gonzalez »

Porcello, Tigers Cursed By Shoddy Infield D

As a low-K pitcher who keeps the ball on the ground, Rick Porcello couldn't be in a worse spot than Detroit. Porcello and the Tigers' plodding, super-sized infield featuring Miguel Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta and Price Fielder go together like peanut butter and...motor oil.

It's no surprise, then, that Porcello sports the third-highest batting average on balls in play (.354) among MLB starters, and has a 3.83 Fielding Independent ERA that is more than six-tenths of a run lower than his actual ERA (4.47). Porcello takes the mound tonight against the Angels (7 pm ET, ESPN) with a BABIP on ground balls that is 40 points above the big league average:

Highest BABIP on ground balls, 2012

PitcherBABIP on grounders
Nick Blackburn 0.322
Josh Johnson 0.302
Joe Saunders 0.295
Jeremy Guthrie 0.295
Ivan Nova 0.294
Cliff Lee 0.291
Anibal Sanchez 0.288
Bartolo Colon 0.288
Rick Porcello 0.278
Zack Greinke 0.276
MLB Avg. 0.238


When you sport the fifth-lowest strikeout rate (13.2 percent) and the 15th-highest ground ball rate (53.2 percent) among starting pitchers, leaky infield D is a major problem.

Overall, Tigers pitchers have a .267 BABIP on grounders, which ranks third-worst in the big leagues behind the Yankees (.270) and the Royals (.273). You have to think that a Brendan Ryan or Jamey Carroll-type acquisition would be on Dave Dombrowski's wishlist, with Porcello being the biggest proponent.

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