August 15, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Justin Verlander 'will not pick up a ball until Tuesday', Tigers manager Brad Ausmus says

Detroit — The next key date in the Justin Verlander recovery process is Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.

“Justin will not pick up a ball until Tuesday,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “From there, it could go one of two ways: either he will put the ball back down, or he feels OK to throw a bullpen.”

Verlander left Monday’s game against the Pirates with right shoulder soreness. If he can throw pain-free Tuesday, the bullpen session would be Wednesday or Thursday. That session will determine his fate for his scheduled start against the Twins in Minnesota (Aug. 22-24).

“At some point, if he’s not feeling better, we would have to make a decision (on whether to put him on the disabled list),” Ausmus said. “We’re not at that point yet.”

Ausmus said the pitching rotation for the Tampa series will be Max Scherzer on Tuesday, Rick Porcello on Wednesday and David Price on Thursday. The Tigers then play four games in three days in Minnesota. Having the doubleheader on Saturday, Aug. 23, will hasten a decision on Verlander, Ausmus said.

Boyz II Men

David Price said he is plenty excited to make his Comerica Park debut Saturday, but he’s not sure where it will rank next to the day he had a chance encounter with the band Boyz II Men in a bathroom.

The first record Price ever bought was Boyz II Men. The first concert he ever attended was Boyz II Men. He was 9.

“I actually got to meet them in the bathroom (of the concert hall),” he said. “Completely random. I told them how big a fan I was and of course they called me out. ‘Oh yeah? What’s my name?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know. I can sing every song you guys sing but I don’t know your names.’

“It was a cool experience.”

Around the horn

Ausmus said outfielder Andy Dirks will resume his rehab assignment Saturday at Toledo. It seems unlikely he will be recalled before Sept. 1.

… McClendon was asked what he thought of the Tigers’ chances of getting into the postseason.

“I know a lot of guys in that clubhouse,” he said. “And I know they are capable of getting it done. I’d be surprised if they didn’t get it done.”

Tigers at Mariners

First pitch: 7:08 p.m. today, Comerica Park, Detroit

TV/radio: FSD/97.1

Tonight’s probables

RHP Felix Hernandez (13-3, 1.95), Mariners: King Felix for a reason. In his last 12 starts, he’s 5-2 with a 1.31 ERA.

LHP David Price (11-8, 3.21), Tigers: First start as a Tiger at Comerica Park; also seeking first win as a Tiger after two no-decisions on road in which he allowed seven earned runs in 142/3 innings — with 16 K’s.

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander left Monday's game against the Pirates with right shoulder soreness. / Robin Buckson / Detroit News