Verlander's status for Sunday remains in doubt

Tigers don't put righty on DL in time to make start; Lobstein likely backup option

Verlander's status for Sunday remains in doubt

DETROIT -- The chances of Justin Verlander being part of the Tigers' rotation this week ran down with the clock Tuesday, when the Tigers did not make an expected move to the disabled list.

"Probably [Wednesday]," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said in an email Tuesday evening.

If the Tigers were going to backdate a move for Verlander with enough time to have him eligible to return for Sunday's series finale in Cleveland, they would've had to put him on the DL on Tuesday. If they do it Wednesday or later in the week, they're likely to bring up a starter to take his place for Sunday, the first day they need a fifth starter.

Coincidentally, left-hander Kyle Lobstein was missing from media day activities at Triple-A Toledo, according to John Wagner of the Toledo Blade. The Mud Hens have to make a move by Thursday; they announced their roster Saturday with one extra player on it.

Top Prospects: Lobstein, DET

The Tigers announced Friday that Verlander would go on the disabled list with a right triceps strain. The team has held off on a move, waiting to see if Verlander could progress enough in his throwing program to be ready to start.

Verlander and the Tigers had been hoping Tuesday would be his last step, a session against hitters that would clear the way for him to start Sunday in Cleveland. After Verlander experienced issues on his final throws in a Sunday bullpen session, however, the timetable came into question.

"Ver threw [40 pitches Sunday] off the mound, felt great. Last couple pitches, not as great," manager Brad Ausmus said Monday.

Tigers officials met after Monday's Opening Day win over the Twins to discuss the next step with Verlander. While Verlander facing hitters Tuesday hadn't been officially ruled out at that point, it was uncertain at best, and there's no confirmation Tuesday that he threw.

Lobstein -- ranked as the club's No. 23 prospect by MLB.com -- has been Detroit's top insurance starter since September after he filled in admirably for Anibal Sanchez late last season. The 25-year-old made six starts and a long relief appearance last season, posting a 1-2 record and a 4.35 ERA.

Among his starts was a Sept. 2 matchup in Cleveland, where he struck out 10 over 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball. He left trailing until J.D. Martinez hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth.

Lobstein's return would give the Tigers a lefty starter against an Indians lineup that leans left-handed with Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn, Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Brandon Moss and David Murphy.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.