Justin Verlander certainly looked ready to go in his first Minor League rehab outing last week, and now the New York Mets have made it official. According to Buck Showalter, Verlander will make his 2023 debut on Thursday — one day after Max Scherzer returns from his 10-game suspension.
The Mets' rotation this week:— SNY (@SNYtv) May 1, 2023
Tuesday: Joey Lucchesi
Wednesday: Max Scherzer
Thursday: Justin Verlander
Friday: Kodai Senga pic.twitter.com/pO2THm0DZS
Scherzer and Verlander’s opponent? None other than the Detroit Tigers, for whom both of them starred (and won a Cy Young Award) in the early 2010s.
Verlander has been on the shelf since March, when the team discovered a strain in a muscle in his throwing shoulder. The 40-year-old has been chomping at the bit to make his Mets debut, but the team has understandably played it a bit safe after handing him a two-year, $86.67 million deal over the winter. The righty was as good as ever last season, winning his third AL Cy Young Award while posting the lowest ERA and WHIP in all of baseball, and it’s much more important for him to be around in October rather than April.
Scherzer, meanwhile, has been sidelined since the dust-up at Dodger Stadium two weeks ago surrounding a foreign substance on his pitching hand that was or was not rosin, depending on who you ask. The righty eventually decided not to appeal the mandatory 10-game suspension for a foreign substance ejection, missing two starts, and now he’ll try to get back on track after a rocky start to the 2023 season. Scherzer has a 3.72 ERA over his first four starts, with just 17 strikeouts in 19.1 innings. Still, considering New York has been making due with the likes of David Peterson, Jose Butto and Joey Lucchesi as they wait for their twin aces to return, I’m sure they’d be just fine with that sort of production.