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
|Pitcher||BABIP on grounders|
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.