Checking the schedule with Justin Verlander

Once again, Justin Verlander will take the mound in Kansas City Saturday night, bringing his 7-2 career record and 1.62 ERA at Kauffman Stadium with him along with an extra day of rest. Manager Jim Leyland kept his rotation in line after last Monday’s off-day to give him a little breather.

The question now is whether Leyland will do it again next week. The schedule suggests he will not.

The Tigers have another off-day coming up Monday before their three-game Central showdown in Cleveland Tuesday through Thursday. If Leyland keeps his rotation in order, Verlander would miss that series and start next Friday in Baltimore. For reference, here’s a link to the Tigers’ August schedule.

That was weighing on Leyland’s mind a couple days ago. He was looking not just at next week, but for several weeks down the line, including another series against the Indians at Comerica Park in two weeks — also following an off-day.

“He’s getting an extra day this time,” Leyland said Tuesday. “Next time’s up in the air. If he gets an extra day the next time, he’ll miss Cleveland.”

If Verlander starts on four days’ rest for the next three turns, he would pitch in both of those Tigers-Indians series. If he gets the extra day and misses next week’s series in Cleveland, it’s almost impossible for him to face the Indians when they come to Detroit.

Makes sense, right? The main reason there would be a question is the schedule after that. Thanks to a Sept. 1 makeup game against the Royals, the Tigers have 20 games in 20 days from Aug. 18 to Sept. 7. If you’re going to rest him up before the stretch run, these next couple weeks are the time to do it. After Aug. 18, the Tigers have just two off-days on the rest of the regular-season schedule.

“I’m working real hard on my rotation right now to figure some things out,” Leyland said. “It could get pretty tricky, so I’m working real hard on that to make sure. We do the best we can, but obviously you don’t him missing some teams if you can help him. But we’d never do anything at the expense of his health.”

This is the time of year when Verlander wants to be his strongest, the time when Verlander’s training really makes a difference. He leads the majors in innings pitched and pitches thrown, but he has done that the last couple years.

I’m not saying Leyland will or won’t do it. I suspect Leyland’s leaning towards making sure he faces Cleveland, but I don’t know that. He brought up the issue himself, not me. But we’ll see.

The next question, albeit a smaller one, is how Leyland would shuffle his rotation if he did move up Verlander. The way the rotation order goes right now, Thursday’s series finale at Cleveland is Rick Porcello’s day to pitch. He was skipped a couple times early this season, but he wasn’t on a roll then like he is now. The Tigers could skip him again, or they can move him to Friday at Baltimore. If it’s the latter, they can give others an extra day, or another pitcher could get skipped.

12 Comments

If Leyland were to ask my opinion I would see how the Indians fare in their games leading up to the series against the Tigers. If they are struggling & the Tigers continue to play as they are then give Verlander an extra day. Obviously if the Tigers are still in a battle then send the ace out there and let him do his thing. Of course, Leyland doesn’t ask me for my opinion otherwise the Split Squad lineup from yesterday wouldn’t have occurred.

Pingback: 08-05-11--DETROIT VS KANSAS CITY--8:10 PM

Thanks for all the good stuff Jason. The previous thread I should have said split squad instead of triple A. It is frustrating as a fan when you go against a really good pitcher and Peralta and Avila are not playing. I understand the players need rest. That just shows you how awesome is the record of Ripken! I am going to lay off on the comments of management for the rest of the season. I will comment in October.
Let’s sweep the Royals!

You’re on record DB!!!
Sorry I can’t make the same promise.

Is it worth considering the September Callups? I mean could we pitch Verlander in the 2 Cleveland series and spot start Below or Turner (or someone else ready) in September for a 6man rotation for an extra days rest for our pitchers?

If the Tigers are well ahead in September, maybe it happens. But if it’s a close race, I think they’ll stick with their five. The memories of Alfredo Figaro’s spot start in 2009 are still kind of fresh.

We play at Cleveland on the 5th, 6th, and 7th of September. Finish the month with Baltimore coming in for four and the last 3 games of the regular season at home against Cleveland.

To skip Penny would be the logic decision. He is the 5th starter.Verlander need to pitch with 4 days rest . If Jl want him to rest , pull him out after 100 pitches like every pitcher around, especially in open games

It’s a no-brainer to skip Penny, perhaps for the rest of the season. Give Below a chance, like Furbush is getting in Seattle.

Ummmm, you gotta skip Penny, he’s awful. I love the ‘spin from yesterday. Yo DON’T give up all those hits and runs, yet have “electric” stuff, Give me a break. Don’t hand me this “they hit bleeders n bloopers” garbage, facts are facts, he was awful. Needs to be skipped.

Unless the Cy Young race is important I think you maintain your schedule and know that your ace is in your pocket anytime you need him. Rest him a little here and there though.

I’ll be at the Baltimore game next Friday and, as much as I’d like to see JV pitch, he’ll need to go on Thursday against Cleveland. Porcello is no slouch either, BTW. You skip Penny, as often as possible. If we’re really trying to win this thing, that is. What we’re seeing from him is what it is, excuses by JL or not.

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