Verlander: Callous shouldn’t affect next start
The thing about a callous on a pitcher’s finger is that many of them pitch with it just fine, as long as it doesn’t bust open. Some pitchers will try to throw enough with one so that it hardens and doesn’t bother them once they have to pitch in a real game.
Verlander’s issue Sunday caught him by surprise, and it sure caught the Tigers by surprise. Verlander was worried enough about it that he went upstairs from the dugout and into the clubhouse to try to hide it from view.
“I looked down there towards the end of the seventh inning and it was bleeding,” Verlander said. “So when I came out of the seventh, I knew that I’d be going back out [normally], but I told [pitching coach] Jeff [Jones] and the trainers to come up with me … because I obviously don’t want to alert the whole world that I might have something going on.
“We got up here, we talked about it. After getting up here and working on it, I think it’s going to be fine.”
Jones and Jim Leyland seemed to think Verlander opened it up on changeups, though they weren’t certain on that.
If it was a specific pitch, though, then why wasn’t it an issue for Verlander in past starts, or past seasons?
“I wouldn’t say it’s been bothering me,” he said. “I’ve just been cognizant of it. I don’t why it’s something that’s never happened to me before, but it seems like maybe every start kind of wears [the skin] down a little bit. This is the first one, really, where it’s kind of blown up on me, where I’ve had any physical issue with it. I’ve been able to deal with it fine. I’m not worried about it going forward.”
Verlander went into a little bit of detail about the process of building it up before it gets knocked down.
“Usually I go a couple starts and nothing happens,” he said, “and then when I feel like I’m in the clear, it rips on me, and I don’t really know why. I really felt like I had a pretty good callous built up. Last time it happened was like two or three starts ago, not quite as bad. So we’re going to talk about some things, hopefully get it back to where the callous is there and then find some ways to protect it, maybe use some moisturizer so it’s not so dry there, so that it won’t just rip on me.”