Verlander takes step forward with 30-pitch session

Verlander takes step forward with 30-pitch session

CLEVELAND -- Justin Verlander took the field at Progressive Field on Friday afternoon with a plan to long-toss in the outfield and maybe try a few leisurely pitches on the mound to see how his triceps felt. He ended up throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session, his first in five days.

Verlander threw fastballs, changeups and sliders, manager Brad Ausmus said.

"He stayed away from the curveballs," Ausmus said, "because that's where the injury occurred."

If Verlander feels OK, Ausmus said he'll throw a longer bullpen session on Sunday. Presumably, he'll throw all of his pitches then. That doesn't likely put him on track to pitch in Pittsburgh next week, but it seemingly puts him on track to face hitters during the week and return at some point during the Tigers' next homestand, which begins next Friday against the White Sox.

That all assumes that Verlander keeps feeling good, which is why he has been able to make a good amount of progress back in the last couple of days. Tigers officials have him begin by playing catch each day, then letting him do more from there.

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.