Tigers fire pitching coach Rick Knapp

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After beating the Giants 6-3 behind a strong outing from Rick Porcello, the Tigers terminated pitching coach Rick Knapp on Sunday, replacing him with bullpen coach Jeff Jones.

Knapp had spent 2 1/2 season as Detroit’s pitching coach after replacing the fired Chuck Hernandez.

The Tigers are 45-40, leaving them just a half-game back of Cleveland in the AL Central, and they just had both Justin Verlander and Jose Valverde named to the AL All-Star team, but they do rank 12th in the AL with a 4.40 ERA, leaving them ahead of only the Orioles and Royals.  Verlander is the team’s only starter with a sub-4.00 ERA.

Max Scherzer’s inconsistency and the lack of development from former first-round picks Porcello and Ryan Perry could have been factors in the dismissal.  Scherzer is 9-4 this season, but his ERA stands at 4.90 following another poor outing Saturday.  Porcello is at 4.96.  Perry, who was drafted with expectations that he’d emerge as a closer down the line, has an 8.20 ERA in 18 2/3 innings this season.