Verlander could make rehab start Monday

Verlander could make rehab start Monday

OAKLAND -- Justin Verlander said he felt good after pitching 4 1/3 innings of a simulated game before the Tigers played the Athletics Tuesday night.

"It went really well," said the 2011 American League Cy Young Award winner. "My stuff was good and I got better as I went along, which is to be expected after not throwing for so long."

The game featured a national anthem, 2012 Cy Young Award winner David Price's "live tweet-cast" and a hit from No. 10 prospect Dixon Machado, who went 0-for-3 in his big league debut Monday.

"We wanted to make it as close to game-like as we could," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "There was no batting cage and he threw how many pitches it took to get three outs."

Several Tigers went into the stands to try to start the "wave," even though the stands were pretty much empty.

"It was comical," Verlander said. "We had Price live tweeting it. It was a lot of fun. I wanted it as real as I could. It was great to have the guys cheering, and it was great to cheer Machado."

Machado, in his second full day in the Majors, got a base hit against Verlander, which led to an impromptu celebration and a presentation of the ball.

"He looked really good," Ausmus said. "The hitters thought he looked good and [pitching coach Jeff Jones] thought he looked good. A rehab start is his next step if he feels good tomorrow, and I think he's going to be fine. The break on his breaking ball was better than I thought given where he's at."

Verlander (right triceps strain) said there was no hesitation in throwing any of his pitches.

"I didn't pitch in as much as I would have, but the pitch sequencing was normal," Verlander said. "The guys' swings will tell you what you want to know."

If Verlander does feel good Wednesday, he'd likely make a rehab start on Monday, though where is yet to be determined.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.