Verlander won't be moved up in rotation again

The Sports Xchange
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Manager Jim Leyland is opting for the status quo and extra rest for Justin Verlander over taking advantage of the schedule to pitch his ace against Cleveland next weekend.

Leyland said Verlander, who makes his next start Tuesday against Minnesota, won't start again until Detroit faces Tampa Bay on Aug. 22 rather than having him pitch against the Indians on Aug. 21 with normal rest.

Detroit has a day off Aug. 18, and Leyland could bump another pitcher -- which he did this week so Verlander could have an opportunity to face Cleveland at the back end of a series. Brad Penny sat out a turn in the rotation.

But Leyland said before Verlander earned his 100th win, 4-3 over the Indians to snap the Tigers' three-game losing streak, he was going to pitch everybody in turn and give all of his starters an extra day of rest next week.

Verlander leads the majors in innings pitched, and regardless of how the manager handles it, he will make nine more starts this season.

All things being equal, Leyland usually uses his starters in turn following a break in the schedule rather than jumbling things up in an effort to create a matchup or give an extra start to his best pitcher.

Insert a long losing streak for the Tigers, though, or let Cleveland sneak past Detroit in the standings, and Leyland likely would revisit his decision.

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