Starting with the star, Justin Verlander has been slowly working his way back from the fatigue that has sidelined him for the last month now.
He held a six minute side session on Tuesday, and threw again (with some slight discomfort) on Wednesday. Those two put together aren't what one would call promising news.
When a side session is as short as that, it typically means the pitcher never actually works his way up to 100%, and while that's not a huge concern, any good that some might take from it should be erased by the simple fact that any injury could likely be pitched through when throwing at only 80%.
The discomfort of course is even more concerning, as it likely means there is something more there than just ‘fatigue'. At this point, with Verlander's velocity down and him still not being able to throw without any pain, it seems to be increasingly unlikely that we will see Verlander pitch again in 2005.
The news doesn't get any better with Joel Zumaya. Zumaya was originally scheduled to start on Thursday, but that was pushed back again; Zach Miner will now start on Thursday, and no announcement has yet been made on Zumaya.
The ‘something didn't feel right' can sometimes just be a nag, but the fact that Zumaya's being pushed back again likely means it's something more than that. As of now, the Tigers have released nothing as to his status, but should Zumaya continue to be unavailable (especially for the playoff run in Toledo), questions are going to start emerging.
And finally to the Arizona Fall League, where the Tigers have yet to release any information as to who they'll be shipping out there, but Baseball America has reported that the Tigers will send Curtis Granderson, Tony Giarratano, Don Kelly, Humberto Sanchez, Preston Larrison, and Adam Peterson to the league.
However, that list likely isn't concrete. It's been reported that Granderson is planning on taking the fall off, and then playing winter ball for Licey in the Dominican. That will likely re-open at least one spot, where either Juan Tejeda, Ryan Raburn or David Espinosa are potential candidates to replace him.
The biggest shock would appear to be the presence of Adam Peterson, who hasn't exactly blown the competition away since being claimed off waivers earlier this season. Peterson's ERA is a less-than-impressive 5.74, and at 26, he's practically past prospect status still pitching in Double-A.
Of course, last year the Tigers sent Mark Woodyard, Rick Kirsten and Lee Rodney; none of which were considered legitimate prospects, so the presence of Sanchez and Larrison is at least an improvement in that regard.