Postponement makes Greene wait longer for start

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Shane Greene

Detroit – Shane Greene’s patience is being tested.

After the winning the fifth starter job with a superb spring training, he has pitched just one inning – an 11th-inning save in Miami on opening night.

His first start of the season was supposed to be Monday afternoon. He will have to wait until Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

He can thank Mother Nature for that.

The game between the Tigers and Yankees, which was the ESPN spotlight game Sunday, was postponed due to unrelenting wet and chilly weather. What was snow earlier in the day was a steady rain by 3:45 p.m. when the game was called.

Justin Verlander, who was supposed to start Sunday night, will go Monday afternoon against the Pirates.

“It's a little bit of a drain, being in game mode and then have like a five-hour rain delay and it gets rained out and you have to do it again tomorrow,” he said Friday night. “So nothing changes as far as weather is concerned.”

Anibal Sanchez will pitch against the Pirates on Tuesday. Greene and Jordan Zimmermann will pitch Wednesday and Thursday in Pittsburgh. Mike Pelfrey, originally slated to go Wednesday, will be pushed back, most likely to Friday in Houston.

No makeup was scheduled for the rainout Sunday, and it’s not going to be an easy game to facilitate. This was the Yankees only visit to Detroit this season.

There are six common off days between the Tigers and Yankees, but those pose inconveniences for both teams.

* On April 18, the Tigers are traveling from Houston to Kansas City.

* May 2, both teams are in the middle of road trips.

* June 2, the Tigers will be flying back from Los Angeles, after a five-game series with the A’s and Angels.

* July 28, the Yankees will be traveling from Houston to Tampa.

* Sept. 19, the Tigers are traveling from Cleveland to Minneapolis, and the Yankees are going from Boston to Tampa.

Of those options, July 28 would probably be the best bet. But that will be determined by Major League Baseball at a later time.

ON DECK: PIRATES

Series: Two games at Comerica Park, two games at PNC Park.

First pitch: 1:10 p.m. Monday-Tuesday at Comerica; 7:05 Wednesday, 12:35 p.m. Thursday at PNC Park.

TV/radio: Monday-Tuesday -- FSD, 97.1; Wednesday – FSD Plus, 97.1; Thursday – FSD, MLB, 97.1.

Probables: Monday – LHP Jonathon Niese (0-0, 7.20) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (0-0, 4.50); Tuesday – RHP Juan Nicasio (1-0, 1.50) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 3.60); Wednesday – LHP Francisco Liriano (1-0, 2.45) vs. RHP Shane Greene (0-0, 0.00); Thursday – RHP Gerrit Cole (0-1, 5.79) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (1-0, 0.00)

Scouting report

Niese, Pirates: The former Met gave up four runs in five innings against the Cardinals in his Pirates debut. He relies heavily on his sinker and cutter, especially to right-handed hitters. His fastball velocity is 90-91. He is the kind of lefty the Tigers’ right-handed hitting lineup has had success with.

Verlander, Tigers: He is a creature of habit and routine, and his was altered by Mother Nature. Bad weather postponed his start Sunday against the Yankees and gave him an extra day of rest before this one. He pitched five no-hit innings in Miami in the season opener before allowing three runs in the sixth.