Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander has been a durable starting pitcher for his entire career. That impressive run may soon come to an end, though.
The Detroit right-hander left his start Monday night after just one inning because of shoulder soreness in his throwing arm. It was revealed after the game that Verlander will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.
Verlander lasted just one inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night, by far his shortest outing of the season. He allowed five runs — four earned — on four hits, while walking two. He took his turn in the lineup and put down a sacrifice bunt in the top of the second inning before leaving the game.
“The ball wasn’t really coming out of his hand,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told reporters, according to The Associated Press. “So after watching him finish the inning I decided I didn’t want to risk him getting seriously injured.
“I was actually immediately worried from the start of the game,” Ausmus said. “Quite frankly, looking back, I almost wish I would have taken him out when I went out with (trainer) Kevin Rand.”
Verlander’s durability has never been a question during his career. He’s made at least 30 starts his eight full seasons prior to 2014, and he’s logged at least 200 innings in seven of those seven seasons, passing the 220-inning mark on four occasions.
If Verlander has to hit the disabled list, it would be the first DL trip of his career.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous,” Verlander told reporters. “I’ve never been through this before.”
The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the Tigers. They were passed in the American League Central standings by the Kansas City Royals on Monday night. The Tigers also just placed reliever Joakim Soria and starter Anibal Sanchez on the disabled list.