VerHagen (nose) expected to miss two weeks

June 24th, 2018

CLEVELAND -- The large, heavily padded bandage on 's broken nose might well qualify as a soft cast. It comes off when the Tigers return to Comerica Park on Monday, but VerHagen still has to wait at least two weeks before he's cleared to pitch in games again.

"They want to make sure everything is set," said VerHagen, who suffered the injury on a crazy play in Cincinnati on Tuesday, when a throw hit him in the face while he was scrambling to cover first base.

VerHagen didn't need surgery, but he did need to have his nose put back in place, and then for everything to stabilize. He has had to become a mouth breather since then, but the time sidelined from throwing has allowed him to do some strengthening work on his arm.

VerHagen will resume throwing once the bandages are removed, but he'll have to hold off on game action. He does not expect to need any protective guard once he's back in games.

Though VerHagen has given up five runs on seven hits in five innings over four relief appearances since his spot start June 4, the Tigers have been encouraged by his willingness to pound the strike zone. He has five strikeouts and no walks in that aforementioned stretch, including two strikeouts Tuesday before his injury.

Quick hits

• Though a tweet from Pirates outfielder seemed to hint that his younger brother, Tigers second-round Draft pick Parker Meadows, was turning pro, a team source said the high school outfielder has not yet signed. Top pick Casey Mize and third-rounder Kody Clemens are also unsigned, so the Tigers might need to reach agreements with them beforehand to make sure the club fits all the agreements within its allotted bonus pool.

• Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said he had a long conversation with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon about giving a game off to following his four-strikeout game Saturday, but opted against it.

"I think if you sit out after four punchouts, that's not going to help," Gardenhire said. "That just gives him another day to go stir-crazy. He's going to get his rest."