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After solid 'pen, live hitters likely next for Verlander

LAKELAND, Fla. -- One day after Justin Verlander hit 31, he threw 60. That was the pitch count in what should be his final bullpen session this spring before he's cleared to face live hitters.

While a handful of Tigers relievers threw their second session of live batting practice, Verlander threw 60 pitches Friday in the bullpen at Joker Marchant Stadium. The session went "very well," pitching coach Jeff Jones said.

In the process, Verlander essentially completed his catchup process to get on track with the rest of the Tigers' starters. As long as Verlander feels OK on Saturday, he'll be cleared to begin throwing to hitters on Monday, the day before the Tigers' first game against Florida Southern College.

Jones said Verlander will likely throw at least two sessions against hitters in camp before he's cleared for game action. That would put him in line to enter Grapefruit League play for the second turn through the Tigers' rotation and make five starts this spring.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.
Read More: Detroit Tigers, Justin Verlander