Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander and Bruce Rondon DL fallout


The Detroit Tigers received news they did didn’t want to hear Thursday–well double news they didn’t want to hear as Justin Verlander and Bruce Rondon will start the season on the DL for the team.

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The Tigers are really good at downplaying injuries and that is what they did when announcing each injury. They kept Verlander back in line for the first Sunday start of the season, against the Cleveland Indians, and they say Rondon’s injury is very minor (see third link).

But I don’t know about you, but injuries to pitching arms are very worrisome to me. Not to mention Verlander’s “cramp” from a week ago has landed him on the DL and Rondon had Tommy John surgery just over a year ago.

The Tigers can try to blow smoke up are nether regions all they want, but many fans are concerned that these injuries may linger on for a lot longer than the team is willing to admit.

In today’s morning links we look at how these injuries, even if they are minor and the players return in short order, could damper the Tigers’ chances of winning a fifth straight AL Central title.

Bullpen problems only growing larger with Detroit Tigers on verge of new season – Chris Iott, MLive

"The greater point is that the Tigers desperately need Nathan to pitch well. They need Rondon to be healthy and to contribute.The Tigers did not have the best bullpen in the majors, the American League or the Central Division in 2014. Far from it.But if Nathan pitches poorly and Rondon isn’t healthy, well, they might have the worst one in all of those places in 2015."

Tigers should be concerned about rotation – David Schoenfield, ESPN

"Right now, the Detroit Tigers are selling Justin Verlander’s sore triceps as a minor injury, with the likelihood that he will miss just one start and pitch the sixth game of the season on April 12.Still, it’s the first time Verlander has landed on the DL in his career and, combined with his bad 2014, is just another red flag for a pitcher who has had three straight seasons of decline after his 2011 MVP/Cy Young season.Just two years ago, the Tigers had one of the best rotations of the past few decades. But that group has been torn apart by trade, free agency and Verlander’s decline. Is it still one of the best groups in the American League?"

Tigers’ Rondon sidelined by ‘very common’ ailment – George Sipple, Detroit Free Press

"Manager Brad Ausmus told reporters this morning that Rondon has biceps tendinitis. Ausmus said he’s not sure when Rondon will throw again.“He can’t throw again until the soreness is out of there,” Ausmus said.Rondon did not pitch in consecutive games this spring. He struck out the side in his last appearance Tuesday, mixing a 100-m.p.h. fastball with a swing-and-miss slider.Rondon traveled with the team to Kissimmee on Wednesday, with the intention of pitching for a second straight day. But he complained of shoulder soreness in the morning and returned to Lakeland without throwing in the game.“I don’t think anyone thought it was something awful,” Ausmus said. “He complained of the soreness yesterday. Biceps tendinitis is very common. In spring training, it’s very common.”"

Next: Verlander and Rondon headed to DL