Leyland sets 2nd-half rotation, replaces Verlander on All-Star pitching staff
DETROIT — Picking the All-Star Game starter was going to be a “no-brainer” for this year’s American League manager, Jim Leyland.
Setting up his own rotation coming back out of the All-Star break was going to be a more ticklish operation, based on how many of his own guys were going to pitch in the game, and how long.
Leyland gave his plan for the post-break rotation Sunday, hinting that he may have a good idea which of his starters will pitch in Tuesday’s game, and which wont.
Starting with Friday’s game at Kansas City, the Tigers will run Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander and Doug Fister out in the three-game series, then follow with Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello in the first two games of the four-game series in Chicago.
Since Leyland himself had said he’d “likely come back first with the guys who’d had the most rest,” that would seem to indicate that Sanchez won’t be added to the AL squad, and Verlander — who was one of Leyland’s initial picks, but was a candidate to be replaced, as one of the starters in Sunday’s games — likely wouldn’t pitch at all.
That was confirmed by the mid-game Sunday, when word leaked out that Verlander would be replaced by Baltimore's Chris Tillman. Verlander will still attend the All-Star Game in New York, and be honored as a member of the team, but will not pitch.
Leyland said before Sunday's game he had three replacements to make, substituting eligible pitchers for those who pitch later in the day.
He’s already made one substitution, tabbing Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore as an injury replacement for Texas’ Yu Darvish. Position players who need to be replaced because of injury revert to the next highest vote total in the player voting.