Now Commenting On:

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Prospect VerHagen starts Tigers' spring schedule

Prospect VerHagen starts Tigers' spring schedule play video for Prospect VerHagen starts Tigers' spring schedule

LAKELAND, Fla. -- While Tigers manager Brad Ausmus doesn't have a season-opening rotation order yet, his rotation for the first few games of Spring Training is set. It begins with up-and-coming pitching prospect Drew VerHagen, who will start the team's traditional opening exhibition with Florida Southern College on Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

The Tigers have often turned to prospects for the Florida Southern game. Former Tigers top pitching prospect Andy Oliver started against the Mocs two years ago, the last time the exhibition led off the Spring Training slate.

From there, the projected Major League rotation begins to slot in. Drew Smyly, back in a starting role, will lead off the Tigers' Grapefruit League schedule against the Braves on Wednesday at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex, followed by Rick Porcello in the back half of the home-and-home set against the Braves on Feb. 27 at Lakeland.

The Tigers' first split-squad day on Feb. 28 will feature the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner and an insurance starter. Max Scherzer will face the Yankees in Lakeland, Fla., while Jose Alvarez makes the trip to Clearwater, Fla., to face the Phillies.

Ausmus had already ruled out Justin Verlander from the first turn through the Spring Training rotation as he builds up his workload following core muscle surgery. Alvarez, who filled in for Anibal Sanchez while Sanchez was on the disabled list last summer, could provide insurance if Verlander suffers a setback and isn't ready for the start of the season.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["prospect" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español