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Inside Baseball

Whispers / Phil Rogers

May 03, 2009|Phil Rogers

The Tigers are starting to wonder about the decision to hand the car keys to the inexperienced Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry. Porcello, 20, has had one good start in four; Perry, a first-rounder in last year's draft, has walked 10 in 7 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. The concern with Porcello is that his curveball hasn't been good enough to keep hitters from sitting on his fastball. . . . Nick Swisher's fast start with the Yankees somewhat mirrors the beginning of his White Sox season. He seems a bad fit for a Derek Jeter-run clubhouse, however, so it will be interesting to see how he holds up. . . . When Phil Hughes (22) and Joba Chamberlain (23) won on Tuesday and Wednesday, they were the youngest Yankees pitchers with consecutive wins since Dave Righetti (23) and Mike Morgan (22) in 1982. Hughes' six scoreless innings in place of Chien-Ming Wang strengthened the argument for moving Chamberlain to the bullpen when Wang returns. . . . Give the Twins credit for going 11-11 without Joe Mauer. Their catchers hit .301 while Mauer was away, including a .357 average in 16 games by Jose Morales.

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik made a great decision signing Russell Branyan to play first base. Branyan's five-hit game against the White Sox on Tuesday was the first time in his long career he's had more than three hits in a game. . . . The Rays opened the season 0-11 when trailing after six innings. Maybe they used up their comebacks in 2008. . . . Matt Holliday's first Oakland homer came in his 135th at-bat in an Athletics uniform, including 60 in spring training. He had only one homer in his last 29 games with Colorado last season, an alarming trend Billy Beane ignored in trading for him. . . . Kudos to Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo for his all-around effort over Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He became the first pitcher to hit a home run while striking out at least 10 (11) in a 1-0 victory since the White Sox's Early Wynn did it against Boston in a wild one-hitter in 1959. Wynn walked seven and struck out 14 when he did it. Gallardo walked only one in his 8 2/3 innings.

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progers@tribune.com

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