Fantasy baseball drafts are finishing up leading into the start of the season and owners should keep an eye on Justin Verlander, as the Detroit Tigers starting pitcher is looking like he will start the season on the DL after dealing with biceps muscle cramping and it comes with Opening Day less than a week away.
According to Hardball Talk, Verlander was set to make his debut in the regular season next Wednesday, but there is a chance that he will miss that date. Manager Brad Ausmus said that it's "a little bit of a stretch" for him to make that start and while there is a chance he could not end up on the disabled list, it is looking like a possibility. UPDATE: reports have Verlander starting the season on the DL. Verlander has never been on the disabled list before in his career.
Verlander struggled last season and fantasy owners have been taking him in the mid-to-later rounds compared to when he was a top pick a few years ago. Verlander is throwing again, but he may not get on the mound for full action for a little while. Hardball Talk reported earlier in the spring that David Price will be the Opening Day starter for the Tigers, meaning Verlander will not be on the mound to start the season for the first time since 2007.
Anthony Fenech on Twitter reported that the DL remains an option for Verlander to start the season, but right now no final decision has been made. The Tigers had Max Scherzer coming back from the Cy Young last season, but he is now gone, while Price comes in after being acquired at the trading deadline last summer.
Verlander made 323 starts last season and had a 4.54 ERA, which was his highest since back in the 2008 season. Verlander has not had an ERA over 4.00 since that season and he also had just 159 strikeouts, which was his lowest total since that same 2008 season. Verlander was over 200 innings again, but he has not been under 210 innings since wait for it, that 2008 season. The Tigers hope the injuries do not linger this season.
UPDATE: Verlander will be placed on the disabled list.
Jon Morosi on Twitter: "Justin Verlander will be placed on disabled list, according to @GeorgeSipple. This is the first time he's been on the DL as a MLB player"