Phillies-Tigers called off because of rain

The Associated Press
Phillies-Tigers called off because of rain
.

View photo

Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander, left, and Justin Miller, stand outside their locker room while …

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Justin Verlander's first spring start was washed out by rain, so the Detroit ace threw in the batting cage - and made up his own pitching line afterward.

''Ten up, 10 down, 10 strikeouts,'' Verlander said.

The spring training game between the Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies was canceled because of rain Thursday, leaving Verlander still without an appearance during spring training. The right-hander had surgery in January following a groin injury, but he was finally supposed to start when the weather intervened.

Rather than push Verlander back a day, the Tigers had him throw in the cage.

''You still get the work in,'' Verlander said. ''I tried to take it like a game. The only thing I didn't do was long toss. I went through my pregame routine without any batters in there, did everything I normally do, and then had guys step in. So I tried to simulate as much as possible. ... I did the national anthem and everything.''

The game was called a few minutes after the scheduled start, after steady rain had left puddles all around the warning track.

Verlander tried to replicate game conditions in the cage. He even had hitters stand in, although they didn't swing.

''I think I threw 45 (pitches) to hitters,'' Verlander said. ''And I did my normal pregame routine, which is probably somewhere around 40 pitches.''

Verlander went 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA last year, an ordinary season by his recent standards. He did pitch brilliantly in the playoffs, but now he's hopeful an unnoticed injury around his midsection was responsible for some of his struggles.

He says he'd like his mechanics to be closer to what they looked like in 2012 - even last year's postseason isn't what he's hoping for. He said he noticed more tilt in his shoulders at a certain point in his motion last season.

''I threw like this for a year, so my body wants to fall back into that, naturally,'' Verlander said. ''It's a whole year worth of muscle memory that I'm fighting right now.''

Verlander said there was no radar gun in the cage, so it's hard to get a sense of where his velocity is.

''I say I'm fighting against a year's worth of muscle memory, but I also have eight, 10, 12 years before that of muscle memory that my body knows as well,'' he said. ''So work through what I'm working through now, and then all of a sudden my body's going to be like, 'OK, yeah, that feels right. That's right. That's the way you used to throw.'''

Verlander says he figures he'll start Tuesday's game against Toronto on schedule.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Gomez agrees to $11.5M deal to stay with Rangers

      Gomez agrees to $11.5M deal to stay with Rangers

      Carlos Gomez is staying with the Texas Rangers. ''Many of the objectives of the Rangers for Carlos go beyond one year,'' his agent, Scott Boras, said Wednesday. ''Certainly Carlos really enjoyed the team and the environment and feels he's got a … More »

      AP - Sports - 4 minutes 18 seconds ago
    • Mariners get RHP Heston from Giants

      One year after pitching a no-hitter, right-hander Chris Heston was traded from the San Francisco Giants to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday for a player to be named. The Giants did not have a spot for the 28-year-old in their rotation featuring … More »

      AP - Sports - 25 minutes ago
    • Cubs get closer Davis, Nats trade 3 young pitchers for Eaton

      Cubs get closer Davis, Nats trade 3 young pitchers for Eaton

      The champion Chicago Cubs closed their only real need, getting All-Star reliever Wade Davis. The Washington Nationals, well, they opened quite a debate by trading not one, not two, but three talented, young pitchers for outfielder Adam Eaton. … More »

      AP - Sports - 29 minutes ago
    • Holliday in, Yanks go after star closers

      Holliday in, Yanks go after star closers

      Matt Holliday has won a World Series title and a batting championship. Holliday and the Yankees finalized a $13 million, one-year contract Wednesday, the first major league contract New York agreed to with a free agent since the 2014-15 offseason. … More »

      AP - Sports - 2 hours 14 minutes ago
    • Matt Holliday made sure Yankees can never trade him to one former team

      Matt Holliday made sure Yankees can never trade him to one former team

      New York Yankees free-agent signee Matt Holliday has, and though his chosen profession essentially guarantees he’ll return to the city of his apparent disdain temporarily, the negotiating power of his agent has reportedly guaranteed he won’t return … More »

      Big League Stew - 2 hours 24 minutes ago