{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Verlander marks 31st birthday with rehab milestone

|
Verlander marks 31st birthday with rehab milestone play video for Verlander marks 31st birthday with rehab milestone

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Thursday marked Justin Verlander's 31st birthday, which he celebrated by taking in a serenade from fans. More pertinent to Spring Training, it marked six weeks since his core muscle surgery, which technically ends his rehab process.

He's still not on the same timetable as the other Tigers starters, and he probably won't be until a rotation turn or two into the Spring Training schedule. But he's at the point where even manager Brad Ausmus hesitates to say he's dealing with an injury anymore.

That said, the Tigers are going to have backup options ready if Verlander suffers a setback, with multiple pitchers stretching out as starters in the early weeks of Grapefruit League play. That includes Jose Alvarez, who will start next Friday's split-squad game against the Phillies while Max Scherzer faces the Yankees.

"We have a couple guys," Ausmus said. "Alvarez is one of those guys. [Luke] Putkonen is a guy we've talked about. [Kyle] Lobstein is a guy we've talked about."

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":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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