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The Detroit Tigers have suffered a loss in their pitching rotation for the start of the upcoming 2015 season. Pitcher Justin Verlander will start the season on the 15-day disabled list (DL) due to soreness in the right triceps.
The loss of Verlander is not ideal, but it is manageable for the Tigers. Verlander’s stint on the DL will be backdated, giving the opportunity for him to make a start in early-mid April. According to Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus, Verlander essentially does not miss a start for the 2015 season.
As stated earlier, the loss of Verlander is certainly not ideal. The Tigers have lost stud pitcher Max Scherzer to free agency, as he bolted for Washington. In addition, the Tigers also traded pitcher Rick Porcello to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. With Verlander on the DL, pitcher David Price will anchor the rotation with compliments such as Anibal Sanchez following.
During the 2014 season, Verlander went 15-12 while holding a 4.54 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Verlander has yet to have a 20 win season since the 2011 season; the season in which he won the American League Cy Young and American League MVP award.
What seemed like a surplus of starting pitchers a year, or two, ago, now seems scarce. The Tigers’ bullpen is certainly not its strength, and the aid of depleted starting pitchers certainly does not help its cause. Expect Verlander back in early-mid April as the Tigers attempt to crown themselves top of, one of the most competitive divisions in Major League Baseball, the American League Central.