Verlander, Jackson won't pitch back to back
Jim Leyland confirmed Sunday morning that he’s going to tweak his rotation order later this week after the Cubs series. Justin Verlander will move up a spot after this start and pitch Friday at Houston instead of Saturday, which is where his turn would’ve otherwise fallen. He switches spots with Alfredo Figaro, who will pitch Saturday ahead of Edwin Jackson in Sunday’s series finale.
The move separates what had arguably been baseball’s best 1-2 combo this year. Verlander and Jackson had pitched back-to-back all year ever since Leyland had them start the first two games of the season, and their success — especially pitching deep into games — has allowed Detroit to keep its bullpen fresh for Rick Porcello’s starts after Jackson. However, the bullpen has been taxed by the back two spots in the rotation, and Leyland now has two rookie starters to watch, though Figaro is older and has pitched more innings than Porcello.