CHICAGO -- Manager Jim Leyland was counting on starter Justin Verlander to pitch as deep as possible into Thursday's game, as relievers Phil Coke and Brayan Villarreal get the day off.
"I need the big boy to be just what he is today," Leyland said of Verlander. "That would be very good for us."
Leyland said he might leave Verlander in to hit in situations when he might otherwise pinch-hit for the starter, who doesn't have a hit in 21 Major League at-bats. He said relievers Duane Below, Luis Marte and Luke Putkonen are all available.
"If we can't through the game with Verlander, plus that, then it wasn't a very good game," Leyland said.
Fister slated to return on Saturday for start
CHICAGO -- The Tigers' weekend rotation is now clearer, as pitcher Doug Fister is scheduled to come off the disabled list in time to start Saturday against Colorado.
Fister, whose left-side strain has held him out since May 28, said he felt good after a bullpen session Wednesday.
"It's another step in the right direction," Fister said. "It's something I've obviously been working on for a little while. It's high anticipation to get out there and get going."
Manager Jim Leyland said the Tigers haven't decided who they'll send down when Fister comes off the disabled list, but he's excited that his starter seems to be over the hump.
The news is more grim for left fielder Andy Dirks, who is still feeling pain in his Achilles tendon when making cuts. Leyland said he knows something's not right, because Dirks is one of the toughest players on the roster.
"Something's not right," Leyland said. "We're going to double-check when we're home, [that's] kind of the plan, just to see if we're missing something.
"He doesn't appear to be real close. He gave me an indication that it's not too good. I think we're going to take a look at that a little further when we get home."
Raburn back with big club as Smyly hits DL
CHICAGO -- Pitcher Drew Smyly's blister on his left middle finger, at one time a day-to-day injury, landed him on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, as the Tigers recalled second baseman Ryan Raburn from Triple-A Toledo.
The move will allow Raburn, who was in the starting lineup Thursday, to play at Wrigley Field for the first time in his career.
"It's the one place I've always wanted to play," Raburn said. "Growing up, this was my favorite team. Watching Ryne Sandberg playing, that was my favorite player. It's going to be pretty cool for me to get out on that field and, especially, play the same position he played."
Raburn was hitting .194 in eight games for Triple-A Toledp, but finished 2-for-5 with a home run in his last game Tuesday. He said the batting cages flooded in Toledo while he was there, so he wasn't able to get all the cage work that he had hoped for.
"It's always great to be back," Raburn said. "I just hope I'm able to come and help my ballclub win some ballgames. The last game, I felt pretty good. I felt like I was taking some good swings and seeing the ball really well."
Manager Jim Leyland said one of the best kept secrets in baseball is the arm of third baseman Miguel Cabrera.
"With him, it's so easy, but it's coming out of there like a rocket," Leyland said. "We've got another guy on our team that's like that, one of the best arms in the league, without question, hands down, in Danny Worth."
Rowan Kavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.