If the Tigers win the next two games in Texas and reach the World Series, they will have done it without Justin Verlander.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Tigers manager Jim Leyland just confirmed that Verlander will not pitch again during the ALCS. Some speculated that he could be available for a relief appearance in a potential Game 7 tomorrow night, but Leyland is committed to resting him after he threw a career-high 133 pitches in a Game 5 victory on Thursday.
“If you see Verlander pitch again this season, it’ll be a good thing, because it’ll be in the World Series.”
While Verlander has been ruled out, Game 4 starter Rick Porcello is available out of the bullpen tonight. Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde, who were rested on Thursday, are also available.
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.
Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.
Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.