Verlander leaves start with right triceps cramp
Justin Verlander left his start against the Blue Jays on Friday with a cramp in his right triceps after running to cover first base on a third-inning ground ball.
Verlander will be evaluated further on Friday. At this point, however, he plans on making his final Spring Training start next week.
“I don’t think it’s an injury,” he said. “I just hope it’s not something that would linger and reoccur.”
Verlander, making his fifth start of the spring, looked strong until then, hitting 95-96 mph on the radar gun at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. He broke quickly off the mound after Ryan Goins hit a grounder to first base for the second out of the third.
By that point, what began as a light rain at the park had picked up, leaving a damp field. The problem, however, wasn’t the footing, Verlander said, but the throwing.
“I don’t really know what to tell you, besides I just felt crampy,” Verlander said. “My whole body just kind of feels tight. I think it was a combination of things. I think with the mechanical adjustments I made, I might be using my muscles just slightly different. And also, I don’t think I hydrated myself as well as I should have today.”
Verlander called to the dugout. Manager Brad Ausmus, pitching coach Jeff Jones and athletic trainer Matt Rankin quickly emerged from the dugout to meet him at the mound.
After a lengthy conference, Ausmus made the change. Kyle Ryan entered as Verlander walked back to the dugout with Rankin.
After Ryan finished the inning, Verlander jogged back to the clubhouse with his glove in his hand, seemingly not hindered.
Verlander threw just 40 pitches, 23 of them strikes, over his 2 2/3 innings. His only hit allowed was a Dalton Pompey home run in the second.
“I felt great. I felt really good early,” Verlander said. “Honestly, I didn’t really feel like I was putting much effort in early, either. … That’s a big positive. That’s kind of the way I used to feel.”