The Detroit Tigers are mixing up their rotation a bit next week. Instead of going in the scheduled order, Brad Penny's next scheduled start is going to be skipped. This allows Justin Verlander to start against the Cleveland Indians instead of not pitching again until the Baltimore Orioles series. Verlander is scheduled to pitch Saturday night against the Kansas City Royals, and now his start next week will be on Thursday in Cleveland.â†µ
With Verlander and Max Scherzer making the starts in the final two games of the Royals series, Penny was originally scheduled to be one of the starters in next week's Indians series. The first two games of the Cleveland series have Doug Fister and Rick Porcello scheduled to get the starts. With Verlander scheduled to go on Thursday, the projected matchups for the Indians series are now as follows (via Chris Iott):â†µ
Tuesday: Doug Fister vs. Justin Mastersonâ†µ
Wednesday: Rick Porcello vs. Ubaldo Jimenezâ†µ
Thursday: Justin Verlander vs. Fausto Carmonaâ†µ
Considering the Indians are in second place in the AL Central, this move makes perfect sense. The Tigers don't want Verlander to miss out on a game against the Indians, and it's not like Penny has been all that great lately. Although the Tigers are four games up on Cleveland right now, if they've learned anything from the last few years it's that a lead can never be taken for granted. If you have an opportunity to pitch your ace against the team in second place in the division, it's a good idea to take full advantage of it.