Verlander babip



Keywords: verlander babip
Description: Justin Verlander is inching his way toward throwing meaningful pitches. Are the Tigers going to be any better when he returns?

Justin Verlander is one of the all-time great Tigers. You will not find me arguing against that fact. However, as of Thursday's win in Oakland, the Tigers find themselves with a record of 28-20. Without Verlander. That's a 94-win pace. Every single March if someone asked you if you would be happy with a 94-win regular season, you'd take it every year. They have held their own without their ace.

Pitching is a tough profession. I get a sore arm playing dodgeball, so I can only imagine the strain hurling 2,000 plus innings of professional baseball puts on a human arm. Verlander ranks 17th among active pitchers in innings pitched. Thirteen of the 16 fellas in front of him have suffered through extended periods with injuries. Turns out he's human.

I had one of those 30-game ticket packages back in 2008. Hopes were high. Sadly, the Tigers limped to a losing record and Armando Galarraga was our "ace." Seriously, he was second in WAR (per Baseball Reference) for the club that year. You can look it up. Anyway, Verlander struggled to a league-leading 17 losses. However, while his strikeout rate dipped from 8.2 to 7.3, that was still much better than his 2006 rate of 6.0. The only real changes from were we saw an increased walk rate (career high of 3.9) and an 18 point jump on BABIP from the season before. As a fan you could chalk this up to a 25-year-old pitcher still figuring out his craft.

Now, if we look back at 2014 we saw a player who knew his craft and still struggled. You could blame it on his core injury if you wanted to, but he made 32 starts last year and the adjustments you'd expect from a veteran pitcher did not happen. Not down the stretch, not in the postseason.

All five spots in the Tigers' rotation for this year were spoken for way back in March. One could have filled out a rotation this way: 1. David Price 2. Anibal Sanchez 3. Verlander 4. Alfredo Simon 5. Shane Greene With Verlander out, the Tigers bumped up Simon and Greene and slotted left-hander Kyle Lobstein in at the fifth spot.




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