Tigers, doctors clear Justin Verlander to resume throwing

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After multiple false starts and MRI exams stemming from his spring training triceps injury Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander has been cleared to resume throwing.

According to a statement released by the team “he was given the clearance to resume a throwing program designed to return him to full competition.” And at least three doctors signed off, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com.

However, because he’s missed so much time Verlander will need a minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list and there’s no timetable for him to begin pitching in the minors. In other words, it’ll be a while before he’s back in Detroit and there are still plenty of hurdles to clear, but this is the first truly positive news related to Verlander’s health since the initial “minor” injury.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season.¬†Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.

Yankees activate Didi Gregorius from the disabled list

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The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.

Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.

Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.