Justin Verlander is unlikely to pitch in the All-Star Game

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Tigers ace Justin Verlander has a 3.72 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 92 innings this season, so he might not get invited to the 2013 All-Star Game anyway.

If he is invited, he almost certainly won’t pitch.

As noted by James Schmehl of MLive.com, Verlander is penciled in to make his final first-half start on Sunday, July 14, just two days before the July 16 Midsummer Classic at New York’s Citi Field. Per the Major League Baseball rulebook, starting pitchers used that Sunday are not be eligible to pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night. So it would take some kind of change in the Tigers’ schedule for the situation to change.

Verlander started the 2012 All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City and allowed five earned runs in the first inning to the National League. The American League wound up losing that game by a score of 8-0.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”