Leyland: Porcello could be overthrowing

Leyland: Porcello could be overthrowing

Leyland: Porcello could be overthrowing
DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland reiterated Thursday that while Wednesday's four innings from Rick Porcello weren't good enough, he wasn't criticizing Porcello or suggesting any sort of change.

The only adjustments will be the tweaks that Porcello and pitching coach Jeff Jones make between starts, with an extra day before Porcello's next outing Tuesday in Cleveland.

On that front, Leyland agreed with Porcello's remarks from Wednesday night that he has to get his slider more consistent.

"My personal opinion," Leyland said, "is that while throwing harder has helped him, it's also probably hurt him."

Catcher Alex Avila knows the slider Porcello is trying to find, the one he had down the stretch last season. It was a hard slider, sometimes acting like a cutter, and it gave him a deceptive pitch to throw off of his sinker.

Porcello has had that pitch at times this season, but not always.

"This year, he's having trouble finding a release point," Avila said.

While Porcello is throwing harder this year -- the average velocity on his fastball and sinker are both up about two mph, according to Fangraphs.com -- Avila believes he doesn't have to overthrow to produce that velocity. Part of it is that he's physically bigger.

"He's growing," Avila said. "He can throw 94 without having to throw it hard."