It’s been a long time coming, but the Tigers have cleared Justin Verlander to begin a minor-league rehab assignment as he comes back from the triceps injury that’s sidelined him since spring training.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Verlander will start Sunday at Triple-A and is expected to throw 80-85 pitches. Verlander previously threw a simulated game Tuesday, so his arm strength is nearly built up enough to take on a full workload.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus indicated that the team will evaluate Verlander’s performance Sunday before determining if he’ll make a second rehab start, which means if things go well he could be back in Detroit’s rotation next week.
With a ninth-inning solo home run off of Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes on Sunday, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new National League rookie record for home runs in a single season. He now has 40 with 36 games left in the regular season.
Cody Bellinger, currently the home run leader with 42, hit 39 home runs in his rookie season in 2017, holding the record until today. The major league record is 52, set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge also in 2017. Judge had broken Mark McGwire’s record of 49 hit in 1987.
Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI double, and three runs scored along with the homer. He’s now batting .271 with a .979 OPS with 40 homers and 95 RBI on the season.
With their 11-5 win over the Royals, the Mets improved to 64-60. They have the same exact record as the Phillies and Brewers, sitting 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.