Sports Minute: Scratched from start, Verlander pleased with simulated game
By CHUCK KING
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Justin Verlander pitched a two-inning simulated game in place of what had been scheduled as his spring training debut, a switch made because of groin tightness. The Houston Astros ace threw approximately 30 pitches off a back-field mound before the Astros' game against Washington. New Houston manager Dusty Baker liked what he saw of the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. Verlander was 21-6 with a 2.52 ERA last season. Baker thinks Verlander will start on Tuesday against St. Louis in Jupiter. Verlander won't commit until he sees how he recovers.
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