Manager Jim Leyland referred to it on Tuesday morning as the "Porcello dash Smyly" situation.

And that, on the first day of workouts for the Tigers' pitchers and catchers, is exactly what it is — and is going to be.

Porcello-Smyly.

Spelled out, it's a matter of right-hander Rick Porcello and lefty Drew Smyly competing in spring training for the fifth spot in the Tigers' starting rotation.

Leyland said he's going to keep it low-key and not talk about it daily — but there will be an eventual winner, so the competition for the job will be one of the major topics throughout the spring.

"It'll be big for the media, and that's understandable," said Leyland, "but what I'm going to eliminate, and I can tell you this ahead of time, I'm not going to give a day-by-day running of it. That doesn't make any sense. I'm not going to do it about (potential closer Bruce) Rondon, either. You know why? Because if you do, it sounds like you're judging them only on that day's performance. It's not going to be like that.

"We know we have two guys capable of starting in the big leagues. One of them is going to start for sure. But I'm going to wait and see and let it play out."

Porcello, 24, is believed to have the edge, with his 48 wins in four major league seasons.

But Smyly, 23, showed promise in 2012, especially with a solid run in the postseason.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130212/SPORTS0104/302120398#ixzz2Kn5U73bW