Verlander, Jackson maybe set for Toronto?
Interesting comments on the starting rotation today from Jim Leyland, who said he has decided on pitchers for both Opening Day and the home opener. He didn’t name names, but considering he also announced that starters will pitch on their scheduled days the rest of camp, including Minor League games on Tigers off-days, it would appear he’s lining them up to pitch on schedule.
If that’s the case, the guy seemingly in line to start Opening Day at Toronto on April 6 is Justin Verlander, whose next outing would fall Tuesday against the Astros. If he pitches every five days from there through the end of Spring Training, he would be on turn to pitch Opening Day. Edwin Jackson, who started today, would be on a schedule that would land on April 7, the season’s second game.
Does that mean Armando Galarraga would pitch home opener? It very well might. Since Galarraga’s pitching in the World Baseball Classic, there’s no schedule to track on him. Still, it would seem unlikely for the fifth starter to pitch that game, and while Leyland believes Jeremy Bonderman will be ready for the start of the season, he points out that he doesn’t know. Saturday’s simulated game will be critical.
Another thing to keep in mind: Bonderman has traditionally pitched well at Toronto, where he’s 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA and .213 batting average in five career starts and a relief appearance.