Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander DL, rotation strength, top 5 hitters

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As we mentioned on yesterday’s podcast (if you haven’t listen yet, go for it–it is a blast), there seems to be a sliding scale on the Justin Verlander scare scale for the Detroit Tigers.

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I pointed out in the podcast that it is a little ridiculous that the Tigers have called this “a cramp” considering it happened on Friday and is still lingering on Wednesday. Like Jose Iglesias last year, where the prognosis turned from “miss a day or two” until “out for the season” quite rapidly, Verlander’s injury has gone from fine/making next start to we’ll see about next start to not making next start to DL possible.

It is a shame because before the injury in Friday’s game, JV was showing his best stuff of the spring.

If Verlander misses time that means the back end of the Tigers’ rotation is moved up the depth chart. Can they handle that and the rest of the grind this season? MCB staffer Tom Zahari explores in his latest post for the Detroit Free Press.

Finally, we look at the offense where Brad Faber predicts the top five home run hitters for the 2015 Detroit Tigers.

Justin Verlander’s status for first scheduled start for Tigers remains up in air; DL stint a possibility – Chris Iott, MLive

"Verlander appears to be in danger of going on the disabled list for the first time in his career due to the right triceps muscle issue that has bothered him since last Friday.“I’m a little bit better every day,” Verlander said. “Obviously, I would like a dramatic improvement. … At least it’s getting better.”Verlander went through a light workout Tuesday morning, but he didn’t throw. He won’t until the soreness in his arm is gone entirely.“He says he feels a little bit better today,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”Ausmus was asked if the disabled list is an option for Verlander.“If we have to use it, we could,” he said. “Yeah.”"

How good can back end of Tigers’ rotation be? – Tom Zahari, MCB Special to the Detroit Free Press

"Both Greene and Simon have to perform well to keep their spots in the starting rotation. Greene had his breakthrough season for the New York Yankees in 2014, dominating the Tigers in two starts. He ended the season at 5-4 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.398 WHIP. The Tigers will want to get that WHIP down, but if he can hold a similar ERA in 2015, the Tigers will be thrilled.If Greene takes a step back and needs more time, the Tigers will be in trouble in their rotation, but Lobstein could spell Greene if he needs a mechanical tweak (i.e. Max Scherzer circa 2010). I’m not saying Greene will turn into Scherzer, but Max was in his first season with the Tigers after a trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks and in the early stages of his career as a full-time major league starter, much like Greene.Simon is the man to watch as the pitcher most likely to lose his spot. Simon was an All-Star last season after a 12-3 first half with a 2.70 ERA and 1.046 WHIP. His second half was the Hyde to his Jekyll first half with a 4.52 ERA and 1.444 WHIP to go along with a 3-7 record. Simon has had a miserable spring.If Simon’s struggles extend into the regular season, he could be sent to the bullpen and Lobstein promoted to the starting rotation. Simon in the bullpen is not a bad thing by any means. Simon has actually spent more time as a reliever in his career, compiling a 14-9 record, a 3.61 ERA, a 1.335 WHIP and 19 saves in the bullpen over his career. As a starter in his career, Simon is 18-19 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.280 WHIP. His WHIP is higher in the bullpen, but he does well stranding runners on base."

Predicting The Detroit Tigers’ Top 5 Home Run Hitters For 2015 – Brad Faber, Rant Sports

"Heading into the upcoming season, the Detroit Tigers will have a chance to contend for their fifth consecutive AL Central crown. Although the road to a division title may be a little tougher this year and some are a bit down on the Tigers, they are still a star-studded team with a power-packed lineup. So, on that note, here is a Spring Training prediction of who the Tigers’ top five home run hitters will be in 2015."

Next: Detroit Tigers 5 Starting Pitching Questions

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