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Manager Dusty Baker said Friday that Verlander (forearm) "is a little further away than we would like, but he's closer to reality than it appeared like when he first went down," Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

It doesn't sound like his return is imminent, which is not surprising as his most recent progression was throwing 20 pitches, but Baker sounds more optimistic that he could get his ace back before the end of the season.

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