A season ago, the Detroit Tigers were hammered with injuries in Spring Training, losing several key members of the team to season-ending injuries. Thursday the team announced that two keys for 2015 will miss the first week (at least) of the 2015 season as Justin Verlander and Bruce Rondon will be placed on the disabled list to start the year.
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While the Tigers seem to believe that neither player will be out beyond the DL window, each is dealing with issues in his throwing arm which is not a great sign and hardly a certainty of an imminent return.
Verlander left a Spring Training game last Friday after three+ innings pitched. At the time it was described as a cramp and that he would be fine and able to pitch in his final spring appearance. When that didn’t happen it became clear J.V. would not be ready for the season.
The injury has evolved from a cramp to a right triceps muscle strain. He has done some light throwing in recent days and stated that the arm feels better but still has a level of discomfort.
Per Chris Iott on MLive, Verlander is still penciled in to start April 12 in Cleveland but “will obviously be dependent on how his arm recovers.”
Justin Verlander began his major league career with the Detroit Tigers with a few appearances in 2005 and was up for good in 2006. In that time he has never been placed on the disabled list nor missed a start.
As for how the rotation will be set, Jason Beck explains:
Rondon is suffering from biceps tendinitis. Unlike Verlander, the Tigers were concerned about his arm enough to have an MRI which revealed the issue. Rondon has been sidelined for more than a week after suffering from what was described by the Tigers as a “neck strain.”
Rondon is recovering from Tommy John surgery which cost him all of the 2014 season. His rookie season came in 2013 and was effective when he played but was lost to the team down the stretch and missed the postseason due to arm issues.
A hard-thrower, his inability to stay on the field has to be an area of concern for the Tigers.
So for the second Opening Day in a row, the Detroit Tigers will be hampered by major injuries to players slated for big roles.
Not good news.