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Detroit Tigers’ Rookie Drew VerHagen to Start Saturday Against Cleveland Indians

July 17th, 2014 at 10:42 AM
By Max DeMara

With a double header looming this Saturday, the Detroit Tigers needed a fill-in pitcher after the All-Star break, and they turned to Drew VerHagen, who will make his major league debut on the mound.

VerHagen, who's pitching at Triple-A Toledo, has amassed a 6-7 record in 2014, with a 3.67 ERA. He's collected 63 strikeouts to 25 walks, and will be filling in Saturday when the Tigers take on the Cleveland Indians in a doubleheader.

Originally, it seemed as if Detroit would turn to left-handed starter Robbie Ray for the spot start considering the Indians rarely hit pitching from the left side, but Ray has struggled badly in Toledo since being sent back in May, most recently posting a rough eight run, 11 hit outing on Saturday night.

Likely, the Tigers lost a bit of confidence in Ray thanks to that, even with his decent 4.50 ERA in the big leagues. Earlier, Ray had done well in a pair of starts, but might not have the confidence needed to get that job done now.

VerHagen, meanwhile, has been steadily improving recently. As Tony Paul of The Detroit News mentions, the Tigers might also be interested in showcasing VerHagen ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Detroit figures to be looking for deals, and as Paul also says in his piece, the Tigers are amassing one of the deeper, more talented minor league systems as far as pitching goes.

It will be VerHagen's big league debut Saturday afternoon, and he will try to bridge the gap between Anibal Sanchez on Friday night and Max Scherzer on Saturday night with a solid outing. Considering circumstance, if VerHagen is able to allow five runs or less in five innings pitched, the start would have to be considered an overwhelming success.

Detroit has starting pitching depth at their disposal, making VerHagen's arrival another moment for fans to see what the team is developing down the line.

Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.

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Tags: Anibal Sanchez, Baseball, Detroit, Detroit Tigers, Drew VerHagen, Max Scherzer, MLB, Robbie Ray

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