Detroit Tigers: Verlander scratched, Chamberlain struggles, McCann’s role


The Detroit Tigers have had better days this month than Monday.

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Justin Verlander‘s “cramp” has now lasted four days and although he admitted to the press he is feeling better, the Tigers have officially scratched him from his last Spring Training start this coming Thursday.

Verlander did some light tossing on Sunday but told the Detroit Free Press that he will not resume throwing until the soreness subsides.

As for the Tigers’ pitchers still on the hill in games, relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain continues to mightily struggle. He took the loss in the, 4-2, defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Braves on Monday, allowing four hits, one walk and recording just two outs, one of which was a caught stealing.

In 7 2/3 innings this spring, Chamberlain has a 8.22 ERA and ridiculous 2.609 WHIP. Manager Brad Ausmus‘ insistence that Chamberlain is an adrenaline pitcher and can’t hyped himself up for an appearance in March is getting old.

But it wasn’t all grim for the Tigers on Monday as 24-year-old catcher James McCann made the Opening Day roster. McCann is extremely smart, which should help call pitches, solid defensively and a polished hitter, batting .371 in Spring Training this year.

McCann beat out fellow catcher Bryan Holaday for Detroit’s other catcher spot, and there is a possibility McCann plays more than just a backup role to Alex Avila this season.

Tigers’ Justin Verlander scratched from Thursday starts – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

"The right-hander doesn’t know when he will start next. It could be Friday. It could be in a minor league game over the weekend. But it won’t be against the Yankees, which was scheduled to be his final start of the spring.“I don’t think that would be plausible,” Verlander said today, “Especially since I didn’t throw today.”The Tigers’ right-hander tossed lightly on Sunday and he was a little sore today, he said, but felt like the right triceps cramp he suffered during his last start against the Blue Jays on Friday, “has been a little bit better.”"

Detroit Tigers Joba Chamberlain sees ERA, WHIP climb in latest rough spring outing – Chris Iott,

"Chamberlain allowed four hits and one walk while recording just two outs, one when Alex Avila threw out a runner stealing and another on a run-scoring sacrifice fly.The numbers aren’t pretty. Chamberlain has an 8.22 ERA this spring. He has allowed 15 hits and has issued five walks in 7 2/3 innings for a 2.609 WHIP. Chamberlain has more wild pitches (three) than strikeouts (two).“Do these count?” Chamberlain asked when his numbers were cited. “No, but this is the time to work on it. Obviously, you never stop working and you’re able to get those times in in between your outings. … This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been in this position. You’ve got to know what you have to work on. It’s a never-ending battle.“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anybody with a zero-zero ERA, so there’s always something to work on.”"

McCann shaping up as grade-A catch for Tigers – Lynn Henning, The Detroit News

"Ausmus acknowledged Monday what for months has been clear. McCann, who bats right-handed, could work as more of a shared-time option for the Tigers. Avila bats left-handed, but with an overload of right-handed starters in the big leagues, a player with McCann’s potential can be more than a platoon option.“Alex will get more playing time, “Ausmus said, “but he (McCann) has to see some right-hand pitching, as well.”"

Next: Future of Tigers not so bleak