Verlander won’t be pitching Thursday (updated)
Justin Verlander won’t be pitching on Thursday as the Tigers had hoped, and when he pitches again is anyone’s guess.
“Especially [since] I didn’t throw today, I don’t think it’s very feasible that I can go out and pitch Thursday,” Verlander said Monday morning. “I think it’s a day-by-day thing.”
Verlander, who left his start last Friday after the third inning with what was termed as a cramp in his right triceps, threw on Sunday. He had some soreness again Monday, which scuttled any thought of throwing in the morning. That, in turn, scuttled any plans for Thursday.
“Once the soreness gets out of there, I’ve got to throw without soreness and get back into my throwing routine,” Verlander said. “These are all things we’ll have to address as it goes along.”
He continues to say he’s not altogether worried. Still, the soreness has lingered along enough to where it’s hard to classify it as a cramp anymore. At the least, it’s a mild strain.
“I really feel like today’s like the crest of the wave,” he said. “It’s gotten a little bit better every day and I feel like today the soreness is just kind of in one spot. It should start to work itself out pretty quickly.”
Shane Greene is now scheduled to start for the Tigers on Thursday against the Yankees, facing his former team at Joker Marchant Stadium. Wednesday is listed on Tigers game notes as TBA, but it would appear likely to be a bullpen day, allowing a slew of relievers to get in work.
Verlander is scheduled to pitch the second game of the regular season against the Twins at Comerica Park. If he doesn’t pitch by Friday of this week, then he’ll probably have to be pushed back from that as well. Verlander did not want to set Friday as a deadline, given that he had stretched out his pitch count pretty well before last Friday. He also was cautious to call his situation frustrating, given the way he was throwing Friday before the injury.
“I’m frustrated that I can’t get out there and throw,” he said, “and yeah, I want to, especially with my personality. But a lot of the reason I’m optimistic — and I don’t want to say I’m happy about it — but I think strangely, this kind of falls to what I was talking about. A lot of the adjustments I made, I’m getting back to being the person that I am, or throwing the way that I throw. I haven’t done that in a while. It takes some adjustments. …
“Honestly, I’m kind of using these few days as a jolt to the system to get refreshed, just let my body kind of recover as much as it can.”
Since next Tuesday is an off-day following the April 6 opener, Detroit technically doesn’t need a fifth starter until April 12. That would require David Price pitching on regular rest and starting April 11 in Cleveland. Thus, the Tigers could put Verlander on the disabled list and backdate it to March 28, the day after he left the game in Dunedin, and have him eligible to be activated for April 12. That would allow them to carry another reliever for the first five games if they so chose.