Spring training for the Detroit Tigers hasn’t even gotten underway and manager Brad Ausmus has already made up his mind about who will start on the mound Opening Day.
Right-hander Justin Verlander will get the nod when Detroit travels to Chicago to do battle with the White Sox on Apr. 3, Ausmus confirmed at TigerFest on Saturday, according to Evan Woodbery of MLive.
Verlander has started every Opening Day for the Tigers since 2008 except 2015, when he was injured at the time.
The skipper wouldn’t comment on what the rotation would look like after Verlander, but the Tigers are expected to fill out the remaining spots from a crop of starters including Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, Anibal Sanchez, Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, and Buck Farmer.
The Tigers have been victorious in four consecutive Opening Day starts by Verlander, who finished second in Cy Young voting last season after tossing 227 2/3 innings and going 16-9 with a 3.04 ERA.