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Tigers' Porcello earns rotation spot

The SportsXchange

Detroit Tigers starter Rick Porcello has gone from the rumor mill to starting rotation.

The righty was officially named to the Tigers starting rotation Tuesday by manager Jim Leyland, with lefty Drew Smyly heading to the bullpen. The news ends for now the speculation on Porcello's potential departure.

Porcello had been the subject of trade rumors since camp started.

"The general manager gives you the players, the manager has something to say, the coaches have something to say, but inevitably, at some point it's up to the player," Leyland told reporters Tuesday. "That's just the way it is. Production is important up here, and it's up to the players when they get their opportunity to produce."

Porcello came to camp as the odd man out, but pitched extremely well during the spring, a product of offseason work with pitching coach Jeff Jones. He didn't walk a batter and struck out 21 in 24 Grapefruit League innings.

Smyly took the news well.

"I knew we were both pitching great," he told reporters. "They know what they have in Rick. He's been starting for them for four years. He deserves it. I still see myself as a Major League starter. I want to be a starter, but it just shows how much talent we have on this team. It's an honor for me to make it."

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