Justin Verlander threw 49 pitches in live batting practice today and had no ill effects. Now the former Cy Young Award winner is just a bullpen session away from joining the Detroit Tigers spring training rotation.
Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers surprised the baseball world when he announced he was having offseason core muscle surgery on his pitching arm. The situation sounded dire and it appeared as if Verlander would not be available for the start of the season.
Now just a couple of months removed from surgery Verlander seems on track to possibly pitch on opening day.
“I’m not even thinking about it any more,” he said. “I even slipped on a curve (Monday), and I didn’t feel it. So that was really good.”
Justin Verlander pitched more innings than any other major league starter over the last three seasons. Former manager Jim Leyland let Justin Verlander pitch as many complete games as he could handle. However this season, look for the mor modern management style of Brad Ausmus to conserve the Tigers Ace for the stretch run.
Although Verlander seems to be on track for to pitch for a seventh consecutive opening day, manager Brad Ausmus is still officially undecided on the matter. That said Ausmus, who is not far removed from being a player himself, said he would consider the streak when making the decision.
Whether Verlander pitches on opening day or not, it will be a bonus to have him to start the season. Especially considering the dire outlook that was presented prior to his surgery and currently succesful recovery.