Verlander on track for simulated game after 'pen session

Verlander on track for simulated game after 'pen session

CLEVELAND -- Justin Verlander threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Sunday morning at Progressive Field, putting him on track to throw a simulated game Wednesday and possibly return to game action after that.

Verlander's session was his second off a mound in three days. This time, he threw all of his pitches, including the curveball that was the source of the triceps soreness that sidelined him a couple of weeks ago.

"Really good," Verlander said when asked how he felt. "About as well as I could've expected. I didn't really feel anything at all, so just keep moving forward. It's a day-by-day thing, has been this whole time. Today I was able to throw a good bullpen. I didn't feel anything. So next step is a simulated game."

That will take place in Pittsburgh while the Tigers wrap up their six-game, two-city road trip. Verlander will throw 15 pitches, sit down, and then throw 15 more, simulating the sit-down portion between innings. How many times he'll sit down and get back up remains to be seen.

It'll be Verlander's first session against hitters since he left his Spring Training start March 27 against the Blue Jays.

The Tigers return home Friday to face the White Sox, starting a 10-game homestand. With an off-day Thursday, Detroit could go with just four starters until April 21 against the Yankees. More likely, however, the Tigers would give Kyle Lobstein another start if Verlander wasn't ready.

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.