Justin Verlander to throw 80-85 pitches in rehab start, could rejoin Tigers next week

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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.

Anthony Rendon explains why he didn’t go to the White House

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Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.

And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”

What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.

But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:

A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.