A picture of durability, with eight consecutive 200-inning seasons, Detroit Tigers’ starting pitcher and former AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander will make his first career trip to the disabled list. Verlander has been dealing with a sore triceps and had been throwing lightly on the side in an effort to work through the tightness he had been experiencing. Verlander was forced to leave his start last Friday with cramping in the triceps. Prior to his early exit, his fastball velocity had been clocked from 94 to 96 mph, its highest levels of the spring.
Verlander’s move to the disabled list will be backdated to March 28, which will allow him to be eligible to return as early as April 12 when the Tigers take on the Indians in their sixth game of the season. Manager Brad Ausmus was optimistic when discussing his outlook on Verlander.
“Essentially, he doesn’t miss a start,” Ausmus said. “His arm will let us know when he can get back on the mound. Cautiously optimistic he’ll get back on the mound Saturday or Sunday.”
Verlander suffered through his worst season since 2008 last year. He went 15-12 with an ERA of 4.54 while failing to record 200 strikeouts for the first time since 2008. He ranked only 81st in the league in pitches thrown over 95 mph, after ranking in the top-ten from 2009-2011. The Tigers still owe Verlander $140 million, and have to hope he is not in the process of joining C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee in the ranks of aging aces who cannot hope to live up to their lofty contracts.