Tigers' manager Ausmus won't commit to Opening Day starter yet
FEB 19, 2014 10:49a ET
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Detroit Tigers are in a good position when it comes to choosing an Opening Day starter.
"You have a Cy Young/MVP winner who's coming off surgery but, as of right now, looks to be on track," manager Brad Ausmus said. "You have the reigning Cy Young winner, and you have the ERA champ.
"You could make an argument for any of the three, really."
The question is: What will Verlander's status be coming off of his Jan. 9 core muscle surgery?
He threw a 54-pitch bullpen Tuesday and is scheduled to throw another bullpen in two days, which will likely be in the 50-60 range, according to Ausmus.
Verlander has said that he doesn't feel any ill effects from the surgery and doesn't feel too far behind where he normally would be.
"We don't know until he's thrown a few times in game situations where exactly he's going to be," Ausmus said. "That all plays into it.
"To say I haven't thought about it (who gets the nod on March 31) would be a lie. To say that I haven't discussed it with the coaches would be a lie. I have, but we haven't made a final decision."
Ausmus said Verlander hasn't lobbied for the Opening Day start. It probably wouldn't matter if he did. Scherzer likely earned the job by winning the Cy Young last season.
"It's possible it could be Max," Ausmus said. "We just don't know at this point."
Ausmus said he personally doesn't attach too much significance to who starts the opener, but knows it might mean a lot to the pitcher.
"I would much rather have those guys make 35 starts than be overly concerned about who's pitching the first game," Ausmus said.
Regardless of who starts the opener, Ausmus said -- as long as everyone's healthy -- it's likely that Verlander, Scherzer and Sanchez, in some order, will throw in the opening series against Kansas City.