DETROIT — Justin Verlander officially went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, and the Detroit Tigers called up left-hander Kyle Lobstein to take his place in the starting rotation.
Lobstein is slated to pitch Sunday at Cleveland. Verlander hopes that's the only start he will have to miss because of a strained right triceps.
"I think it's going to go away, for sure," Verlander said. "It seems like it's been forever and we're only on day 11 or 12 or something right now, which is not that long for a strain."
Detroit announced last week that Verlander would go on the DL for the first time in his career, but the Tigers did not make the move official until Wednesday. The team initially thought Verlander might be able to start Sunday against the Indians, so Detroit wouldn't have to bring up a replacement starter. But manager Brad Ausmus now says he won't be able to pitch in that game.
"We're extremely optimistic that he'll make his next start," Ausmus said. "Yesterday, he felt good throwing. But he was just long tossing."
Lobstein filled in decently for the Tigers down the stretch last year, when Anibal Sanchez was injured. Lobstein went 1-2 with a 4.35 ERA in 2014, making six starts.
Verlander went 15-12 with a 4.54 ERA last year, a season well below his standards. Even before Verlander's injury caused him to miss the beginning of this season, Ausmus had picked David Price to start on opening day. Now the 32-year-old Verlander has to overcome this arm issue before he can start trying to bounce back from his 2014 performance.
"It's disappointing. Obviously, everything I'm doing was to try to get ready for Sunday," Verlander said. "The days just kind of stack up. I needed to be able to pitch on Tuesday to be able to do that. I just wasn't ready."
Verlander is on the DL retroactive to March 29.
"Some days are really good. Some days it's a little cranky, but definitely a lot better than it was a few days ago, or a week ago," Verlander said. "So, it's definitely trending in the right direction. It's obviously taking longer than I would like, but it's just one of those things where you can't really speed up the process. You've just got to wait until you're ready."