I am a casual baseball fan, and do not watch many games until the fall time. I do however like to keep up with the box score and stats of many Tigers players and have noticed that Verlander has been subpar this year. Can anyone shed light on his performance this year? Is it a mechanical issue, arm fatigue, injury?
OT: What is going on with Verlander?
It's the Upton factor.
I, too, have been thinking about the Upton Factor (TM?) and decided to run the numbers
Arrow #1: [Summer, 2012] Rumors of a Upton-Verlander relationship start
Arrow #2: [June, 2013] Upton tweets this "warm" message to Verlander's best friend. Note the subsequent rise in FIP and xFIP (sparing last September):
It's weird, I am no baseball expert so I can't say anything about mechanics. However, I am noticing that he is throwing his fastball ALOT which takes away from its dominance. He used to keep people off balance with the occasional curve and change up. Now he just tries to overpower people.
If I knew the problem, I'd be off in the Bahamas downing cocktails instead of posting on MGoBlog.
It's gotta be the biggest question in Detroit sports right now.
His command is gone. Simple. Walking way to many batters and falling behind hitters.
Either Grantland or 538 (hell, maybe it was Insider...definitely ESPN though) had a good article on Verlander just being an average starter now and how staff ace's time can be fleeting. I think it's just that. He's fallen off more and more the last few years and just doesn't have it anymore. Happens to the best of them.
Sports Illustrated did a writeup on the subject of Verlander being, well, "off" last week after his rather rough start against Toronto. The last time he has had a stretch where he gave up four or more runs in four out out of five consecutive starts was in the middle of the 2008 season, which was a rather un-Verlander season by his standards. He's also struck out four or fewer batters seven times this year, according to their figuring, something that he did a mere fifteen times in last two complete seasons, so this is a little troubling as well.
he obviously still has great stuff, but his command is not what it used to be. he used to paint the corners with his fastball; especially the early innings using just his cutter. now, he misses a lot. he also has lost control of his breaking ball. he leaves it up in the zone a lot and it gets punished a lot. and that's when it's in the strike zone.
hopefully, it's just a matter of finding his groove again and maintaining consistency with his pitches.
He likes to establish a strike zone early, so a lot of teams are starting to get very aggressive at the plate right away when he is pitching. he's throwing a lot of clear fastballs early and as a result you see starts where he's given up four through two
I don't think he has recovered completely. That being said there is a couple articles out basically saying he's washed up. This one is on Fox Sports . There are some disturbing trends there but I look at how he finished last year and the surgery as possible reasons. I have to say I'm beginning to wonder though.
More importantly, what's wrong with the damn team?!
when they showed up late for the Cleveland series. . . They haven't been able to get it back together since.
I don't have exact numbers, but I'm thinking the ol' W-L totals in the last 25 have to be downright...ugly. Verlander ain't the only problem here, for sure.
a huge contract.
That inning is also on Castellanos, he botched a simple ground ball and that was before JV got the double play ball. He had the required 3 outs but didn't get them. This team is in such an annoying slump right now though, when they pitch they can't hit, when they pitch and hit they can't close. It's really annoying.
I'm not sold on Castellanos as of yet. I think he has average defensive skills and an average arm to boot. I still think of him as an outfielder.
Suarez at SS could be ok; he sometimes misses plays that he should seemingly get to. The pop in his bat is a nice addition though.
I think Hunter’s age may be catching up to him. He seems to come up limping every time he touches the ground and I don’t think he can chase down many balls anymore.
All around (except Sanchez) the team just doesn’t look good right now. Either they are in a slump or the start of the season was an anomaly and we are just now seeing what the team may really be. I’m probably a victim of the moment, but I am starting to fear that concerns before the season (losing power and hitters) may be catching up to them.
did you forget about cabrera and v martinez? they've been outstanding.
True. V Mart and Cabrera are doing pretty damn good as well. Who would've thought Martinez would be out homering Miggy????
It's not just Verlander. All of the starters seem off besides Sanchez. The bullpen is a wreck as well. We should have kept Fister and kept Smyly in the pen because now we have no one.
Yup, it always comes back to Fister and that damn trade. They would be in a much better position at the moment. I heard one of the Tiger's newspapers writers talking and wondering is Dave D. would make a move at the trade deadline to grab a starter and move Smyly back to the bullpen.
Who would have started the first two months of the season while Fister was injured, and with Smyly in the bullpen? And who would have started when Sanchez was on the DL and they had Robbie Ray to call up?
I'm not sure what they would have done for the beginning of the season, fumbled their way through it probably. But Fister has been back for a little while now and pitching good (5-1 w/ 2.68 ERA). I was only looking at the current and future situations, which would have probably looked a little brighter.
he's doing just fine; especially for a first-year starter. they best leave him alone and let him get his 30 starts.
It's baseball and I'm no expert but it seems like it's pretty rare for anyone to be consistently dominant. He's most likely just having an off year.
The Tigers are in complete free fall right now, and there's really nothing to suggest it will stop soon.
I'm not worried about the offense. They've scored enough for us to win. The 5 runs we scored on Monday should be enough to win.
verlander got paid plain and simple hasnt been effective since he signed the contract last april, he has been very mediocre since he signed the contract and he i suggest is another one of those players that performs until he gets paid then soaks it up and calls it a day, so i am sorry if this offends anyone or as people have said before attacks justins integrity but the guy in my mind just doesnt seem to care anymore, he is always doing interviews and all kinds of other stuff where he should be watching film and finding out what is going on but thats just my opinion take it as a grain of salt
I'm more offended by your run-on sentence than your opinion.
No shit. Just replace the commas with periods and it'd be easier to read. How the hell have we gotten this sloppy with our grammar?!
Oh, and Verlander needs to step up - that's for damn sure.
It certainly lacked effort and attention to detail.
excuse me for the lack of grammar i dont have a coolege education like most of you all so does that make me less of a human being, i am sorry that i got so much going through my head at one time that i need to typee it or forget where my mind is going, and sorry that so many of you are more intelligent than most and belittle people who dont grasp the grammar topic with you all, i sucked in HS in english never have been good at it but i guess the geniuses you all are expect everyone to be so if you dont like how i right when i reply dont read it, i am sorry i am that much more of a moron than you guys, and it sucks we are all fans of the same team/ teams and all we nitpick about is grammar, thanks have a good night
That's impressive right there.
You don't need a "coolege education" to "right" properly, or at least close to it. I could "right" proper sentences at 12 (being very generous here, it was probably earlier than that). Our language is how we communicate effectively, you should learn to use it.
Regarding Verlander, I totally agree that it was the signing of the contract. He just relaxed and is not as sharp. However, Max is not as sharp, either, and he is looking for a big fat contract. So who knows. Bring back Fister.
Or maybe it's because he's getting...er.
A sore limb can't be good for a MLB pitcher.
You initially created a post with terrible grammer/structure. You received feedback on this poor grammer. You then created this post acknowledging that people are more intelligent than yourself. Even after this acknowledgement, you could not incorporate that feedback into the post by at least replacing the commas with periods.
This sounds like a job for Captain Obvious.
BTW you don't suck at "high school" English. You suck at English.
During this 6-16 stretch, the offense has averaged 3.46 runs per game.
That is abysmal, they haven't scored enough for the Tigers to be an above .500 team, even if the starting rotation was pitching like they did last year.
In 2012-13 MLB began in season blood tests for HGH and other PEDs. Previously they only ran blood tests during spring training. Remember how he was a notorious slow starter in past years? Last year it dragged on 3/4 of the season. I know he had a great October but even that was without his high heat.
He's still throwing pretty hard. He just has zero command right now.
He is not throwing as hard, as consistently. That PED theory isn't that far-fetched.
i read somewhere that his avg fastball has dropped from 94.4 mph to 94.0 this year. it could be PEDs. or could be that he aged from 30 to 31 this year. he can still run it up there to 97 when he wants. there is no issue with his stuff. it's all about location/control.
i view the high velocity as a good sign.
i dont buy the 'he signed the contract and stopped caring' argument - he was filthy rich after the previous contract. his life was already gold. plus, dude is competetive.
i buy the kate upton argument somewhat. im not sure i could walk and chew bubble gum after that.
but he sucks now, and i've come to dread his starts.its getting worse too.
unless he can pull off a Scarlett Johansson or so
I think he has been on top for so long that he was bound to come back down... I just think that he was so good for so long that opponents spent countless hours studying him, as the tape piled up people figured him out... then he figured it all out at the end of last year and now we are back to the hitters being ahead again.
What's weird is the Nationals pitchers as a whole haven't walked a guy for ages. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Hottest team in MLB.
He is just not as good as he used to be. He no longer has a dominant fastball that makes all of his other pitches that much better.
He used to be able to hit 95 with ease, and he'd reach back for 98-99. Now he throws 91-92 and has to reach way back for 95.
It seems like that loss of velocity has caused him to overcompensate (i.e. he's throwing too hard too often) and so his control has suffered as a result.
He's just not the same guy. He peaked from 2009 to 2012. He's 31 now, and just doesn't have the same stuff. His fastest pitch so far this season was 97mph. He used to hit at least that multiple times a game.
To break it down...first column is the percentage of Verlander's fastballs that hit 95mph or higher, and the second column is 98mph or higher
2009 - 43% - 8%
2010 - 35% - 5%
2011 - 27% - 5%
2012 - 21% - 4%
2013 - 14% - 1%
2014 - 5% - 0%
So yeah, we're talking about a dude who used to basically throw 95mph or higher every other fastball with 98mph or higher in his bag of tricks, being reduced to a guy who has no hope of hitting 98, and at this point, can barely even reach back for 95.
In short, unless Verlander can find a way to become a finesse pitcher with high control, his goose is cooked and the Tigers are going to be saddled with one of the worst contracts in baseball for the next 7 years.
Teams don't fear his fastball so they sit and wait for it. Opponents won't swing at his breaking balls because they know a 92mph meatball will be served up soon.
He seems to get alot of pitches fouled off too. His pitch counts and workload often rack up early.
on his fastball. While that is down from his peak years that still is the highest average on Tigers starting staff. He has also been hitting 94-95 pretty consistently his last 2-3 starts.
The problem with Verlander is more about a loss of command. His first pitch strike rate and walk rate are currently the worst they have been since his awful 2008 year. What made Verlander special in 2011 and 2012 was his ability to throw any one of his pitches for a strike in almost any count. He doesn't have that the same command right now, which is frustrating because the stuff is still above average.
Also the real question is what the hell is wrong with the Tigers, in general. Personally, I didn't think they were as good as their record when they were 27-12, but still to go 6-16 with the talent they have is really mind boggling. DD better do something at deadline because this is not a WS winning team right now.
your numbers may be accurate but i think your analysis is wrong. you realize that verlander has a two-seam fastball and a four-seemer, right? he typically uses the two-seemer in the early innings and tries to paint the corners. that is his 92 mph fastball.
when he is on, he doesn't need to use the four-seemer that often early on. however, his control has been off this year; including last nite. i was there and he had a number of 96 mph fastballs when he was in trouble. he has no problem hitting 95+ when he wants to.
his problem is location. pure and simple.
A lot of it is confidence in my opinion. It seems as if our starters enter the later innings more fatigued then usual because they are working harder to keep the game manageable... A lot of this lies on the offense and their inconsistency. There is no excuse for our lack of offensive efficiency because we are one of the best offensive teams in the majors. Not to mention that MLB teams are lucky to have two guys that pitch around 3.40 ERAs. We are lucky enough to have 3-4, yet we can't muster up 5 runs against aging pitchers like Danks. Don't get me wrong, the pitching is annoying, but our inability to get runs after we've driven in those first few runs is despicable. You can't be expected to score just once or twice in baseball... These guys need to stop looking at who is pitching and remember that their job is to hit on a nightly basis.
Bullpen is another story that needs to be completely redesigned. Would it plausible to get a solid bullpen arm and a 3-4 starter in the rotation in return for Verlander?
Loss of velocity and inability to throw fastball for strikes consistently (seems like it's always 2-0 on every hitter). I certainly wish we still had Fister, but DD values hard throwers more than pitchers.
Nats getting Fister was best move the Nats have made in a while.
to stand up at a game, wearing a white dress & hat, and catch Verlander's attention.
I have a stinking feeling that Verlander used PED's. I hate myself for even thinking that, but he doesn't throw nearly as hard as he used to and isn't the same pitcher over all. I know he's older, but he's not that much older. .
He just had surgery. You have to be kidding.
out his fastball but the reality is hitters are teeing off on his breaking pitches, which don't seem to have the bite or control they once had. Either he's tipping his pitches or just isn't getting the same ball movement he once did.
We as fans are also spoiled rotten by his two or three year dominance.
Fans definitely get spoiled quickly.
Verlander had core surgery, and a lot of people think it takes a full year to completely recover (that is what I have read, not what I independently know). There was an article a while ago that included videos that showed him pitching in the first few innings and after 90 pitches. It showed (and even I could see it) that he was not bringing his right shoulder through after ninety pitches the same way that he was earlier in the game and how that affected his control/command. Give him time. He will improve as he more fully recovers.
In my opinion, Verlander is on cruise control. He was last regular season as well. He was good in the playoffs last year and I have no doubt that he will ratchet it up for this post season. Verlander was the face of the Tigers for quite a while and carried the team. I think he realizes that he now has decent starters around him and doesn't have to go all out, all the time anymore.
I read somewhere that Verlander has thrown like 1,000 more pitches over the last five seasons than anyone else in baseball; Scherzer is fourth on that list as well. I know Justin likes to think of himself as an indesctrucible warrior, but that kind of workload is going to catch up to you eventually.
But he has had sub-par seasons before and bounced back. He might just need some time and a lower pitch count.
Really? Did you skip the 2008 season? Verlander went from 18-6, 3.66 in 2007 to 11-17, 4.81 in 2008. After that season he started his climb to the MVP summit in 2011. Maybe he'll do it again, maybe he won't. The pitch counts and age don't help.
The Tigers, as a whole, were incrediable disappointing that year.
He signed a huge contract, he got super famous, he had regular intercourse with a model with huge amazing breasts.
I'd lose control of my slider too if I had those things.
Losing Kate Upton had to effect his performance. He reminds me of Terry Bradshaw. Everytime he was married, he played well and the steelers won the Super Bowl. And everytime he got divorced, he didn't play as well and the raiders or cowboys won instead.
I think his stamina is going downhill fast, I think it really starts from there. It seems like he's alternating between trying to take a little bit off pitches to be economical and, like last night, pitching hard but running out of steam early (He actually pitched a decent game up until the 6th). His mechanics kinda seem out of sync too, maybe that's a result of pitching at different intensities all the time. A lot of pitches were obvious balls before they even left his hand because of how off balance he was, his body seemed to be ahead of his arm and vice versa a lot. He also doesn't seem to have his full repertoire of pitches to keep people off balance.
he had core surgery in the off-season to fix a problem he had last season, probably affected something I would imagine. Miggy had the same kinda thing and also started out slow but he plays every day so hes worked it out by now. JV only gets a start every 5 days or so and getting smoked probably doesnt help his confidence. Giving up 3+ runs every game isnt the same as a hitting slump, gotta be at least part mental.
he will be fine eventually. He still has good velocity. Right now it is his control and stamina that are bad.
It might take a while and it might not even come fully back this year, but I think we will see vintage JV again. He is still hitting 97 on the gun, which is plenty fast to be dominant. He just has to get his location back.
He's racked up more innings and pitches than anyone in baseball over the last few years. Unfortunately, if that's true, it's unlikely to come back. Johan Santana, CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay were all pitchers with dominant runs as a staff workhorse who basically woke up one day and had nothing left - injuries and workload took their toll.
This, by the way, is yet another example of why long term contracts for a pitcher are about like betting on a hard eight (e.g. a crapshoot).
As far as the Tigers other issues, the bats look good - Cabrera is rounding into form, VMart is killing the ball, Hunter is ageless, and AJax while cooling off is still decent. Avila still is ok at the plate as well, and Suarez is an improvement of the Vortex of Suck we had before. The bullpen, well. There's a reason you don't bother to sign free agent relievers to anything but extra cheap contracts - pitchers are volatile, and relievers are sweating dynamite even when they don't have age and elbow issues in their past.
Basically, if it's not Mariano Rivera, don't bother.
If this was a workload problem, his velocity would be gone. It's not. Yeah, he isn't hitting 100 on the gun, but he's still hitting 97, which is plenty fast. His problem is that he has lost his control. That isn't a workload issue. It points to something else--maybe his mechanics, maybe the off-season surgery, maybe mental, who knows? But I think his arm/shoulder/elbow itself is ok. He probably threw himself out of whack last year pitching through the groin injuries and hasn't yet figured everything out post-surgery. I'd give him more time before declaring him done.