Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
With at least a share of the American League Central crown already assured, the Detroit Tigers are not planning to use ace Justin Verlander again in the regular season.
Although he could have a chance to significantly improve his Cy Young case with another impressive showing on the mound, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander will not make another regular season start according to Chris Iott of MLive.com.
Owning a three-game lead in the American League Central with only three left to play, the Tigers are hoping that their miniscule magic number of one game will come quite easy over the next three days. Verlander, who is 17-8 with a 2.64 earned-run average over 33 starts, leads the league in strikeouts (239) and ranks second in ERA. The 29-year-old All-Star also leads the sport in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) for any pitcher with a 7.6 rating, which is significantly higher than second-place David Price's 6.2 mark.
Planned by manager Jim Leyland all along to be stashed away for either Detroit's Game 1 playoff opener or a possible one-game play-in versus the White Sox, the team remains fully confident that Verlander's electric arm won't be needed again to wrap a playoff berth. The Tigers will open the first round of the playoffs at Comerica Park for the first two games if they can hang on to their lead, and Leyland and company desperately want their star right-hander on the mound for a possible Game 4 in the Bronx.