DETROIT -- This is the point where you hear about the periodic updates regarding injuries on the Detroit Tigers. Other than the fact that it's sunny and (relatively) warm out, there's a bunch of small things that you would probably like to hear about. No setbacks so it's nothing groundbreaking, but hey, it's something!
Justin Verlander threw his up-and-down bullpen on Thursday, which simulates game situations to a degree without facing hitters. After a 45-ish-pitch warm-up routine, Verlander sat down, got up for eight warm-ups like he would prior to the start of an inning, then threw a 15-pitch bullpen before sitting back down.
"He felt good," Ausmus said. "He threw his pre-game warm-up, went up and down twice and felt good, no complaints today."
Verlander's bullpen puts him right around where the Tigers want him right now. Next up is a simulated game on Tuesday in Oakland for Verlander. Ausmus and pitching coach Jeff Jones haven't yet settled on just how many innings Verlander will throw, but it will "probably be similar to Pittsburgh."
Being able to get through this simulated game without a setback is next the big step, as the last time Verlander threw, he faced a setback and wasn't allowed to pick up a baseball until lingering soreness completely dissipated. After that Verlander will need a rehab assignment. Whether that will occur after the simulated game is something that Ausmus will not decide on until Verlander's sim game is complete.
"We'll cross that bridge when we get there." Ausmus said.
Bruce Rondon's rehab outing in Toledo on Thursday was successful in terms of how he felt. Rondon went two-thirds of an inning in the seventh, giving up two hits and a run. The command wasn't there, but the heat was, Rondon touching 99 mph on the radar with his fastball sitting around 97-98 for the majority of the outing. Scheduled to throw between 20-25 pitches, Rondon was removed from the game after 22 pitches. Rondon is set to go out for about an inning on Sunday, and he will pitch in relief again, following the starting pitcher's outing.
Alex Avila continues to rehab twice a day, strengthening the muscles around the knee, which includes riding a bike, among other exercises. Ausmus isn't sure when Avila will return to the team, however, he stated that Avila's knee is feeling better, to include going up and down stairs.
Victor Martinez is back in Orlando, Fla., and began his rehab with his trainer on Friday. There is no timetable for his return at this point.