September 12th, 2007

A couple facts on Verlander

He’s the first Major League pitcher with at least 17 wins in each of his first two full Major League seasons since Dwight Gooden in 1984-85.

He’s also the first Tiger of any experience level with back-to-back 17-win seasons since Jack Morris in 1986-87.

Rotation now set

OK, we have a firm rotation now.

This Fri-Sun at Minnesota: Robertson, Bazardo and Jurrjens
Next Mon-Wed at Cleveland: Rogers, Verlander and Robertson
Next Fri-Sun vs. KC: Jurrjens, Rogers, Verlander
Sept. 24-26 vs. Minnesota: Robertson, TBA, Jurrjens
Sept. 28-30 at Chicago: Rogers, Verlander, Robertson

As the rotation turns

The rotation is only slightly closer to being set for the upcoming road trip to Minnesota and Cleveland. What we know for sure at this point:

  • Nate Robertson will start Friday’s opener at the Metrodome
  • Jair Jurrjens will start Sunday at Minnesota
  • Kenny Rogers will start either Saturday at Minnesota or Monday at Cleveland.
  • Justin Verlander will start either Monday or Tuesday at Cleveland.

It depends partly on how Rogers feels and whether Leyland, but Leyland hinted that the opponent and the Tigers’ status in the playoff chase plays a big role. They have to beat every team they play at this point, regardless of matchup.

"One thing you have to figure out," Leyland said, "is are you chasing Cleveland or are you chasing the Yankees? You’re chasing both of them, but one of them is a little farther than the other."

The indecision on Verlander partly involves an extra day of rest.

Here’s where it starts to sound like a math equation: If Rogers starts Saturday, Verlander will start Monday, leaving Tuesday open. If Rogers starts on Monday, Verlander will start on Tuesday, and Saturday will be the spot to fill. The options are Chad Durbin, Yorman Bazardo and Virgil Vasquez. Durbin pitched on Tuesday, but he was out early enough that he could go again on short rest Saturday if needed.

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