Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander scratched from Wednesday’s Start
By Dave Holcomb
Go ahead Tigers fans. Roll your eyes into the back of your head like I did when I read the news. Justin Verlander will not pitch on Wednesday in the series finale against the Cleveland Indians due to back stiffness according to MLive.com.
Instead, right-hander Buck Farmer has been recalled from Triple-A Toledo to make the start Wednesday. To make room for Farmer, the Detroit Tigers optioned left-hander Ian Krol to Toledo.
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Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told MLive.com that Verlander’s back first started bothering him before the fourth inning of Friday’s start versus the New York Yankees. Strangely, Ausmus also said Verlander felt fine during the game, but when warming up for each inning after the third is when he felt the discomfort.
“We thought it might go away, just kind of soreness from pitching again after having not pitched much in a while,” said Ausmus.
The Tigers manager went on to say they would be cautious moving forward, but that he didn’t expect Verlander to miss more than one start. In a video on MLive.com, Verlander called the ailment “not serious” and said his body just simply isn’t in “pitching” shape.
If that is indeed the case, then it is worth asking why Ausmus left Verlander in Friday’s start for 117 pitches. It wasn’t like Verlander was pitching well. He allowed four runs in the first six innings, and Ausmus let him start the seventh despite having already thrown 99 pitches.
Friday was just Verlander’s second start of the season, and in his first outing, he threw just 87 pitches. A 30 pitch increase from the first start is awfully large.
What the makes the move even more head-scratching is the fact the bullpen was well rested. The Tigers had last Thursday off due to the rainout in Cincinnati.
Unless Ausmus wasn’t aware of Verlander’s ailing back during the game, then it just doesn’t make sense to let him throw 117 pitches. It is going to cost Verlander another start in a season where it appears every game will matter for the playoff race.
Ausmus has received a lot of criticism from fans as the Tigers manager. Some of it has been unfair and some of it has been warranted. This latest Ausmus debacle, however, is just leaving me incredulous.