Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander steady, Kyle Lobstein roadblock, Cole Hamels targeted


The Detroit Tigers lost on Saturday, but they received an encouraging performance from Justin Verlander in the process.

More from Motor City Bengals

No, he was not great, but he was good enough–or should have been good enough if not for bullpen issues in the 5-4 loss to Cleveland which saddled Verlander with a no-decision despite departing the game with the lead.  J.V. was very effective early, had good action on the curveball and was getting more swings and misses than he had been toward the end of last year.

He ran out of gas a bit in the fourth and fifth inning after 87 pitches, though that is to be expected since that was around his pitch count for his two rehab starts in Toledo.

Verlander’s replacement in the rotation, who had done so well, appeared to be on the verge of coming back but Kyle Lobstein‘s recovery effort has unfortunately hit a snag.

We discussed the rumors of the Tigers’ interest in trading for a starter on Friday. The consensus is that Philadelphia Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels should be their top choice. It is an interesting prospect, but Philly likes to ask a lot for the core of the 2008 World Series championship team and you have to question if the Tigers have the pieces in the minor leagues to beat out other teams that could be trying to trade for Hamels.

Keep in mind if that happens, Hamels would add $23.5 million to the payroll for 2016, 2017 and 2018, not to mention the pro-rated portion of that for this season. There is also a $20 million option for 2019.

Quite an expensive option and would pretty much close the book on any hopes of retaining David Price beyond this season.

Verlander met expectations in season debut – Tom Gage, Fox Sports

"“But overall, I felt pretty good,” he said. “It was a key step. I just exerted more than I have yet.”After allowing two runs in five innings, throwing 87 pitches in the process — but needing 28 to get through the fatiguing fifth — Verlander was removed from the game.It was sort of odd, but not fractious, how it took place. Verlander didn’t initially consult with Ausmus, or with pitching coach Jeff Jones, upon reaching the dugout steps after allowing a run in the fifth.There was no immediate “good job” pat on the back. Instead, Verlander’s input was sought."

Tigers’ Lobstein hits roadblock in recovery – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

"The Tigers’ left-hander received a cortisone shot Friday and will take a few days off to see how his left shoulder responds to the treatment.“That was more to just kind of get me over the hump, so to speak,” Lobstein said. “My shoulder had been getting better and it was feeling good, but I just kinda needed a little something extra to get me all the way back.”Lobstein has been on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left shoulder since May 24.Manager Brad Ausmus said Lobstein underwent another MRI exam recently, which looked the same, and the team is hoping the cortisone shot can knock out the remaining inflammation."

Cole Hamels Should Be Detroit Tigers’ Top Trade Target – Brad Faber, Rant Sports

"While Kazmir and Cueto are set to become free agents this winter and may only be rentals, the Tigers would have the luxury of retaining Hamels’ services beyond this season. According to, he is signed through 2018 at a cost of $23.5 million annually, and there is a $20 million team or $24 million vesting option for 2019. Considering the price of an ace these days, one could argue that Hamels’ contract is actually fairly reasonable. It has also been reported that the Phillies may be willing to eat some of his salary.The biggest obstacle in trying to acquire Hamels may very well be the issue of what he would cost in terms of talent. The Tigers don’t exactly have the strongest farm system, and many have questioned whether or not they would have the pieces to get the job done."

Next: Tigers still legitimate World Series contenders