Verlander impresses in first official bullpen session
Justin Verlander threw somewhere between 55 and 60 pitches Saturday in his first official bullpen session of spring training. Even then, he was bargaining for more.
“How many,” Verlander asked catcher Alex Avila at one point, checking where he was at.
“Fifty,” Avila answered.
“You just said 36 [a few pitches ago].”
“I said 46.”
This isn’t unusual during one of Verlander’s early spring sessions.
“When he gets on a roll,” Avila said, “it’s hard to stop him.”
What was odd was that it was the first time Verlander cursed during the session. Normally, he’s frustrated enough to blurt out a four-letter word after a pitch or two he doesn’t like.
That in itself is an encouraging sign, at least until the next bullpen session.
“He looked outstanding,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “Not only myself, but even the coaches noticed better arm speed. The one thing that stood out to me was the action on the curveball. It was much tighter.”