Porcello still on tap for Game 4, Verlander starts Game 5


The Tigers were forced to use two of their starting pitchers in Saturday night’s rain-ravaged Game 1 loss to the Rangers, and they just had Game 2 postponed, but they’re not going to let any of that affect their mapped-out ALCS rotation.

According to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, right-hander Rick Porcello is still scheduled to start Game 4 of the ALCS and ace Justin Verlander is still in line to take the mound in a potential Game 5.

Verlander only threw 82 pitches in Game 1, which featured two separate rain delays, so there was some thought that the Tigers might bump him up. But manager Jim Leyland has maintained that he will not pitch the hard-throwing 28-year-old on short rest.

Porcello threw 22 pitches on Saturday night, but he should recover fully before his Wednesday outing.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.