Tigers announce Justin Verlander will make his season debut Saturday

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Justin Verlander is finally healthy after being sidelined since spring training with a triceps injury and the Tigers announced that he’ll come off the disabled list to make his season debut Saturday against the Indians.

Verlander made his second-minor league rehab start Saturday at Triple-A, striking out nine batters in 5.2 innings to convince the Tigers that he’s ready to return. He threw 93 pitches in that outing, so he should be just about fully stretched out.

As for what to expect from Verlander, that’s awfully tough to say. Even before this injury derailed him for the start of this season the former MVP and Cy Young winner looked like a big question mark at age 32. He allowed the most earned runs in the league last season, posting a 4.54 ERA with just 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings and diminished velocity.

He’s signed through 2019 at an average of $28 million per season and the Tigers have lost 14 of their last 21 games, so they desperately need Verlander to get back on track and stay healthy.