Verlander's status won't be clear until next week

Verlander's status won't be clear until next week

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander got the reinforcement he wanted from other doctors that his shoulder soreness appears limited to inflammation. Whether he can avoid a stint on the disabled list is the next question, and that might not be clear until the middle of next week.

"Right now, he's not going to pick up a ball until at least Tuesday," manager Brad Ausmus said. "From there, it could go in a number of directions."

The Tigers will go with four starters for the time being, using Monday's off-day as a way to skip Verlander's spot. Max Scherzer will start Tuesday's series opener at Tampa Bay on four days' rest rather than getting an extra day, followed by Rick Porcello and David Price.

The Tigers don't need a fifth starter until next Saturday's day-night doubleheader at Minnesota. They can use the 26th player rule to call up a starter from the minors for one of those games. If Verlander can't go, they'll either have to call somebody else up or start Scherzer and Porcello on short rest the next couple of days.

At that point, it would be far more likely the Tigers would put Verlander on the 15-day DL, since they could backdate it and call up another pitcher from the system.

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