Justin Verlander leaves start with cracked finger skin

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Justin Verlander exited this afternoon’s start against the Royals after seven innings with what the Tigers announced as cracked skin on his right thumb.

Presumably “cracked skin” is better than a blister, although I’m not smart enough to necessarily know the difference in terms of a recovery timetable and either way it could be an issue for his next start.

For now he’s being listed as day-to-day. Before leaving Verlander allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits, striking out four and walking one on 96 pitches. He ERA this season stands at 1.95.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.