Rick Porcello’s next start pushed back to Saturday

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MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports that the Tigers have pushed back Rick Porcello’s start to Saturday against the Rangers. Porcello was set to face the Rangers in the series opener on Thursday, but he is experiencing soreness in his right side and will get some extra rest.

Porcello has been pitching very well for the Tigers, picking up his league-leading seventh win on Saturday against the Red Sox. The 25-year-old right-hander has a 2.91 ERA and a 33/7 K/BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings.

Robbie Ray will make Thursday’s start. Ray was one candidate to be sent down to clear a spot on the roster for Anibal Sanchez, who is coming off of the disabled list, but the Tigers optioned reliever Justin Miller to Triple-A Toledo instead. Ray, acquired from the Nationals in the Doug Fister trade over the winter, posted good results in his first two starts, allowing just one run in 11 1/3 innings.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?