The Detroit Tigers have announced that righthander Rick Porcello will begin the season in their rotation.

As a result, lefthander Drew Smyly will move to the bullpen.

This has been one of the most closely tracked position battles of the spring, with Porcello’s name being mentioned in plenty of trade rumors and even briefly being mentioned in the discussion about the team’s closer candidates.

Porcello certainly has done his part to earn the rotation spot, posting a 3.00 ERA and striking out 21 batters in 24 innings this spring. He has yet to walk a batter. By comparison, Smyly has a 3.88 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings.

In 31 starts last season, Porcello was 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA and a 5.5 K/9 ratio. In his four-season major league career, he is 48-42 with a 4.55 ERA and a 5.0 K/9 ratio.

Porcello will be the fifth starter in a very talented Tigers rotation that also features Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez.