Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander throws successful simulated game
By Matt Pelc
With support from teammates and Detroit Tigers’ staff, Justin Verlander experienced a successful simulated start Tuesday in Oakland.
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If all goes well, and there is no lingering discomfort, Verlander will continue on his rehab efforts with a stint in the minors seemingly imminent.
Prior to Tuesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics, Verlander threw 4.1 innings of three hit ball with no runs scored, eight strikeouts and one walk. He was supposed to be done after four innings, but talked his way into another batter and was done after 70 pitches. The “lineup” consisted of a rotation of Bryan Holaday, Dixon Machado, Hernan Perez and Tyler Collins.
With emphasis on “simulated,” the 26 Tigers’ personnel in attendance (according to the Detroit Free Press’ Anthony Fenech) did everything they could to make the game feel real, including Verlander himself
Even David Price got involved, taking a page out of the Motor City Bengals playbook and live tweeted the “simulated” game.
J.V. appreciated his fellow Cy Young winner’s support and pronounced his effort as a solid one.
In all seriousness though, this is a good first step for Justin and the Detroit Tigers, but far from the final step toward his full recovery. A rotating lineup of Machado, Collins, Perez and Holaday is hardly Murder’s Row and neither will be AA or AAA hitters, but it will be the next step for a return.
A return that just got even more important now that his replacement, Kyle Lobstein, is not on the mend himself.