Detroit Tigers schedule Justin Verlander’s first start of 2015
By Matt Pelc
There will be no more rehab outings for Justin Verlander, no more funny uniforms, and no more game balls delivered by dinosaurs, that is because the former MVP and Cy Young winner for the Detroit Tigers will be making his season debut on the mound Saturday afternoon against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park.
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It was seemingly a foregone conclusion that Verlander would pitch on this homestand for the Tigers after a solid rehab start this past Saturday erased a poor effort in his first rehab appearance for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens back on May 31.
Verlander is coming back from a triceps injury (not cramp) that has sidelined him since late March and has not allowed him to take the mound in a regular season game yet.
The injury was the first of J.V.’s career that landed him on the disabled list. He had previously never missed a scheduled start.
Justin went 5.2 innings on Saturday, striking out nine, throwing 69 strikes in 93 pitches over 5.2 innings, allowing just one unearned run. He also received swings and misses on 17 pitches, which is an encouraging sign for him after seeing his strikeouts diminished last season.
The Indians have yet to announce who will oppose Verlander.
Interesting to note that even when J.V. was dominating baseball from around 2009 to 2012, he has always had trouble with Cleveland, posting a bloated ERA of 4.42, although he is 18-16 against them in 40 career starts.
In other injury news:
- Victor Martinez is progressing and feeling better, but not quite ready to fully come back although he is hitting and running the bases near his home of Orlando. There is no set date for his return at this time.
- Alex Avila had some knee soreness while attempting to comeback from an injury that has kept him out of action for more than a month. He underwent an MRI and the Tigers are awaiting the results.