Hi friends! What would you say if I told you that the Justin Verlander extension was just as big a mistake as the Ryan Howard extension? Would you call me an idiot and never listen to me again? Good, because I would never say that. Never. However, the Tigers did make one mistake that was similar to Ruben Amaro Jr.'s, and it looks increasingly likely that they'll pay for it. At Fox Sports, I went over Verlander's early-season struggles, why they're different than last year's, and why the two years a club has to wait and see might be its most valuable, if often overlooked, asset. Block quote time!
Here’s a fun fact: Verlander, 31, has three starts this year in which he has walked more batters than he has struck out. From 2011 through 2013, he had just two such starts, total. If he adds to his tally in his start Tuesday night, he’ll have matched his total for the previous five years.
Fun facts often turn on a bit of cherry picking, convenient boundary setting with exculpatory information being left out, so you’re wise to be suspicious of them. But that one stands in nicely for Verlander’s performance overall: His strikeouts are down, to the point that 74 percent of qualified starters this year (Jason Vargas! Charlie Morton!) have whiffed more batters than he has per nine innings. And his walks are up — 86 percent of starters are walking fewer batters. This isn’t just Verlander getting the wrong answer on a math test; it’s Verlander getting the wrong answer and showing his work. And his work is a conspiracy theory about lizard people.
You can go read this article, right now, while nobody's looking over your shoulder.