Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Verlander sets own pace in return

Tigers ace tosses 41 pitches while recovering from abdominal surgery

  • Print

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander threw 41 pitches in his first official bullpen session of spring training.

Verlander is recovering from surgery on his abdomen in early January. He's trying to tone it down this spring and Tigers rookie manager Brad Ausmus says Verlander is mostly setting his own pace.

"I feel really good," Verlander said. "I don't feel any pain but I am just taking everything in stride. Everything is on track for Opening Day."

Verlander was slated to throw 40 pitches Saturday, but instead threw 41.

It's the third time Verlander has thrown off the mound since coming in ahead of the official pitchers and catchers reporting date, but it is the longest stint he's had.

Verlander went 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA for the Tigers last season, but struggled early. He came on strong toward the end of the season and was sensational in the playoffs.

He was the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player award winner in 2011 and signed a seven-year, $180-million contract extension last spring. He's also pitched on six American League all-star teams.

"I don't see anything to worry about," Ausmus said. "I didn't see anything that jumped out as good and nothing that looked bad. He's on track to be where he needs to be."

Verlander, who has a friendly rivalry with Tigers teammate Max Scherzer, said he is ready to rebound from what he considered a down season. Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA for the Tigers last year and won the Cy Young Award.

"Last year I came back at the end," Verlander said. "So I salvaged a good year, but I have to be the best. I hear from the trainers that I am a quick healer so I am just going about my business."

NOTES: Former all-star shortstop Omar Vizquel has been working on fielding and base running this spring. He is the new Tigers first base coach and Ausmus said he never considered Vizquel for the position until he got calls of recommendation from Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez during the off-season. Former Tigers starter Kenny Rogers will join the team in mid-March as a special instructor

Ausmus hinted strongly he expects 12 pitchers to head north, including seven relievers. He said there are some locks for the spots, but a few available openings. All position players are expected to be in camp on Tuesday. OF Andy Dirks is causing a scene with his extra-long hair. Ausmus, who was once with the very strict New York Yankees organization that frowned upon such things, said he doesn't care what Dirks looks like. "If he plays well he can grow it down to his feet as far as I'm concerned."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 16, 2014 B11

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

RMTC preview of Good People

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
my2011poy
  • A goose comes in for a landing Thursday morning through heavy fog on near Hyw 59 just north of Winnipeg - Day 17 Of Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who do you think will win NHL's Calder Trophy for rookie of the year?

View Results

Ads by Google