Justin Verlander undergoes MRI which confirms triceps strain

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Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander had to cut a simulated game short last Wednesday and he’s currently in shutdown mode due to continued soreness in his throwing arm. While Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said yesterday that there were no plans for Verlander to undergo further tests, team trainer Kevin Rand told James Schmehl of MLive.com today that he actually had an MRI last Thursday which confirmed the original diagnosis of a right triceps strain.

Verlander didn’t undergo an MRI after initially suffering the injury in late March, but Rand defended the decision by saying that they “waited until we felt we needed to.”

“When he wasn’t able to make a step that we wanted, that’s when we decided to dive into some testing at that point in time,” Rand said. “Because it gave us a little bit more concern. But it turned out everything was as we expected from the beginning.”

The Tigers will just have to play the waiting game with Verlander for now. Their starters have been pretty good without him, though. Coming into Monday’s action, they ranked second in the majors behind the Cardinals with a 2.48 ERA.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.