Tigers to place Verlander, Rondon on 15-day DL
Justin Verlander is heading to the disabled list for the first time in his career. Bruce Rondon will open the season to the DL for a second consecutive year.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus announced the moves Thursday morning. Verlander will be placed on the 15-day DL with a right triceps strain. The move will be backdated to March 28, the day after he left his start against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.
By backdating the move, the Tigers will be able to activate Verlander from the DL next Sunday, the first day the Tigers need a fifth starter.
“Essentially, he doesn’t miss a start,” Ausmus said.
Whether he’s able to make that start remains to be seen. The Tigers are optimistic Verlander will be able to throw a side session this weekend in Lakeland.
“The arm will let us know,” Ausmus said.
Verlander’s arm has been tricky to judge ever since he left the March 27 outing. The injury was initially called a triceps cramp, and team officials said they expected him to make his final Spring Training start.
That would have been today. While Verlander threw on flat ground for a second consecutive day, he has not yet gotten back on a mound.
“It’s still kind of a day-to-day thing,” Ausmus said.
Verlander was originally slated to start the second game of the regular season next Wednesday against the Twins. Anibal Sanchez will move up a day to make that start. Shane Greene, who was scheduled to make his Tigers debut April 11 in Cleveland, will move up to start the opening series finale against Minnesota next Thursday.
Rondon heads to the DL one day after being scratched from a scheduled relief outing with a sore right shoulder. An MRI exam taken Wednesday afternoon showed tendinitis in Rondon’s biceps.
While the Tigers can get through their rotation for the first six games without Verlander, thanks to next Tuesday’s off-day, putting together a bullpen without Rondon is another task. His healthy return was seen as a huge factor in the Tigers bullpen after he missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery.