Updates from Monday, Mar. 17
James Schmehl of MLive.com confirms who will pitch the first game of the season for the Tigers:
It's official: Justin Verlander will start Opening Day.— James Schmehl (@jamesschmehl) March 17, 2014
Sports researcher James Smyth reported historical context:
Max Scherzer will be the first reigning Cy Young to not start on Opening Day since 2005. Brad Radke over Johan Santana, who pitched game two— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) March 17, 2014
Updates from Sunday, Mar. 2
James Schmehl of MLive.com has the latest on Justin Verlander's rehab:
Good news for Justin Verlander. No setbacks in his latest bullpen session today and will make his first start this spring Thursday.— James Schmehl (@jamesschmehl) March 2, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Feb. 19
Jason Beck of MLB.com has the latest on Justin Verlander's recovery:
Verlander reportedly came through the bullpen session feeling fine. He felt well enough to top his pitch count again, throwing 54 pitches after being scheduled for 45-50.
"He felt good," manager Brad Ausmus said. "[Pitching coach] Jeff Jones said he looked good."
Verlander was a limited participant in fielding drills later Tuesday morning.
"He has [been] for a couple days," Ausmus said. "I kind of forced him out of it yesterday just because of an abundance of caution."
Verlander later spoke to Matthew B. Mowery of The Oakland Press about his status:
JV:"Main focus is to make sure I’m healthy, getting my arm strength and my body prepared to throw. That’s normal process of spring training"— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) February 19, 2014
JV (cont.): "... I feel like I’m at that point now, where it’s the normal spring training process."— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) February 19, 2014
JV: "As far as throwing goes, I feel like I’m there. I might be a little behind where I’d normally be. Not much, but a little bit."— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) February 19, 2014
Updates from Sunday, Feb. 16
James Schmehl of MLive.com reports Justin Verlander is participating in training drills:
Justin Verlander is participating in every baseball exercise today, including the entertaining ragball drill, for the first time this spring— James Schmehl (@jamesschmehl) February 16, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Feb. 11
Chris Iott of MLive.com has the latest on Justin Verlander's recovery from surgery:
Justin Verlander threw 20 pitches off a mound Monday. Said it went very well. He feels good.— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) February 11, 2014
Verlander had an MRI after an injury to the left side of his groin. MRI showed damage on both sides. Had surgery on both sides.— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) February 11, 2014
Verlander said he and Jeff Jones put together a plan for him to pitch in five spring training games. He hopes to be ready to start season.— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) February 11, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Jan. 30
MLB Network Radio provides a statement from Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski discussing Justin Verlander's recovery:
Dombrowski on Verlander: "he was starting to throw the beginning of the week, unless there's a setback he'll be ready by start of season"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 30, 2014
Updates from Saturday, Jan. 25
Matthew Mowery of The Oakland Press provides a statement from Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski discussing Justin Verlander's recovery:
“Well, I’m not worried about Justin. He’s determined, a hard worker. These guys that are hard workers, that get surgery done, that are in the prime of their career, that are driven, they usually do pretty well in these cases,” Dombrowski said.
“But you also want to be careful that you don’t rush him. I don’t want to rush him. I want him to follow what the doctor says. That’s why I said, if he misses a start, great — do I think he’ll miss a start? No. I don’t. He’s going to throw Monday. It’s not even February yet, and he’s starting to play catch Monday.”
Mowery also provided a statement from Dombrowski discussing Verlander being available for Opening Day:
“You know if Justin’s healthy, he’s going to be one of your four. We’ll just wait and see how it happens,” Dombrowski said. “Basically the doctor has been the one that’s been guiding him, and allowing him to do what he wants to do so far. But that’s why I keep saying, I’m not trying to push him to be ready. We just want him follow what he’s supposed to do, and if that gets him ready to start the season on time — which I think it will — great. But I don’t want it to be some huge thing. That’s why I said, ‘Let’s see what happens.’ I’d be surprised if he’s not ready at this point, from everything I hear.
“I mean, he’s starting to throw already.”
Updates from Friday, Jan. 24
According to Matt Snyder of CBS Sports, Verlander could miss the start of the 2014 season:
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander had to undergo core muscle surgery. The thought was that he'd be ready for the beginning of the 2014 season and that's still possible. General manager Dave Dombrowski has, however, left open the possibility that Verlander may need to miss a start or more.
"He's doing great," Dombrowski said (MLB.com). "I'm not concerned for him being out an extended period. If he misses any time of the season, it would only be a very short time period. I'm not ready to say that he will. But he's doing very well."
Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander is in the recovery process this MLB offseason after undergoing surgery on his abdomen on Thursday, Jan. 9. The team's official Twitter account shared the news:
Justin Verlander underwent successful core muscle repair surgery this morning. #Tigers— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) January 9, 2014
He will undergo physical rehabilitation for the next six weeks and will be reevaluated at the end of that time. #Tigers— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) January 9, 2014
Verlander reportedly suffered the injury while working out in December, according to team officials via Tigers reporter James Schmehl on Twitter:
Justin Verlander sustained the lower-body injury while working out last month, according to #Tigers.— James Schmehl (@jamesschmehl) January 9, 2014
The 30-year-old pitcher is coming off his fifth consecutive All-Star season in Detroit and is heading into his 10th season with the Tigers in 2014.
Fortunately, Verlander appears set for a return to the mound this spring:
“We fully anticipate Justin to participate in spring training and be in a position to compete at the beginning of the 2014 season." - DD— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) January 9, 2014
As for how much time he may miss, Will Carroll of Bleacher Report believes that Verlander shouldn't miss significant time and should only be slightly behind in spring training:
Several saying Meyers did do Verlander's surgery. Similar to Cabrera's. Shouldn't keep him out of spring training. might be a bit behind.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) January 9, 2014
Verlander's "core muscle repair" is likely a sports hernia. Dr. Meyers is trying to use that terminology vs sports hernia. Bet he did surg— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) January 9, 2014
As Fox Sports' Jon Morosi points out, Verlander has been among the most durable pitchers in all of baseball over the past decade. However, one of his proud streaks could come to an end if he's not healthy come March 31:
Justin Verlander has been on the Tigers' active roster every day for the past eight seasons. Zero trips to the disabled list.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 9, 2014
Justin Verlander’s streak of Opening Day starts obviously in jeopardy. He will be in rehab mode until 1 week after spring training begins.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 9, 2014
Still, it's unlikely that Detroit will rush Verlander back this offseason.
The 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner means too much to the franchise. Not to mention he's heading into the second year of a seven-year, $180 million contract, according to Spotrac.com.