Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Rise and Fall of Justin Verlander

If you told people 3 years ago that Justin Verlanders 2011 was a fluke year they would probably laugh and say no way, but now in the middle of 2014 Verlander is just 6-5 with a 4.19 ERA in 86 innings. He is giving up 3.7 BB/9 which is up almost 2 full walks from 2011 and his strikeouts are down to 6.4 per 9 which is down from averaging 9 strikeouts per 9.

He has noticed his fastball has been moving much slower as his fastball is down to 93 MPH when it used to be 95 MPH, it is the only pitch that has a dropped and it is the one causing the biggest effect. His strikeouts are down, his walks are up, hitters are seeing the ball better against him, and it can all be traced back to the drop in velocity. In his peak year of 2011 hitters batted .191 against him and his WHIP was 0.92 which was fantastic and proved he was one of the best pitchers of the game, if not the best.

Going into 2012 expectations were naturally high for Verlander as he had just finished off one of the best seasons in recent memory going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and leading the league with 251 innings pitched and easily winning the Cy Young Award. After a really good 2012 where he went 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA he wasn't as good as he was in 2012 with "only" a WHIP of 1.05 and a average against of "only" .215. After that season he wasn't the same.

Going into the 2013 season Verlander had lost a 1 mile off his fastball and it was at 94, which was still above the league average, but not how hard as he usually threw it. He had a season that was not up to his standards going 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA which was disappointing considering how well he threw the ball the bast 2 years. His decline was most notable with a 1.31 WHIP which was up nearly .3 points and a batting average against of .251.

 Now it is June 11th, of 2014 and Verlander still hasn't found the magic that he had in 2011. An ERA over 4 is almost a foreign language to him and he isn't the same anymore. The Tigers are in a bad spot as they signed him to a big extension paying him 180 million through 2019 and if he is going to be an average pitcher then it will be a rough 5 years for them.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Todays Transactions: June 7th, 2014

Andrew Cashner - (San Diego Padres)  Activated from DL
Cashner had been 2-5 with a 2.35 ERA in 9 starts before being placed on the disabled list on May 14th with a strained right elbow. In his 57.1 innings the RHP struck out 47 and walked 17.
Cory Rasmus - (Los Angeles Angels)  Recalled from Salt Lake (AAA)
Rasmus was 2-1 with a 4.28 ERA in 28 games out of the Salt Lake bullpen. While the ERA isn't ideal he had a good H/9 (7.24) and K/9 (7.90) but had a poor BB/9 (4.94).
Kevin Gausman - (Baltimore Orioles)  Recalled from Norfolk (AAA)
Gausman had been fantastic in 10 starts for Norfolk posting a 2.98 ERA in 42.1 innings while punching out 44 and walking 18. The 23-year old had struggled in his only appearance on the big league club.
Kirby Yates - (Tampa Bay Rays)  Recalled from Durham (AAA)
Yates, 27, was dominating AAA posting a fantastic 0.36 ERA in 25 innings for the Durham Bulls. He struck out 35 while walking 9 and giving up 1 earned run on 10 hits.
Josh Lueke - (Tampa Bay Rays)  Designated for Assignment
Lueke was DFA'd to make room for Yates and for good reason. He had struggled in 25 appearances posting a 5.64 ERA in 30.1 innings. He had shown solid control with a 1.48 BB/9 but was unable to prevent hitters from making contact with a 11.27 H/9
Jason Lane - (San Diego Padres)  Designated for Assignment
The outfielder-turned-pitcher made 2 good appearances out of the San Diego bullpen striking out 4 over 4.1 innings but there was no room for him when the Padres needed to activate Andrew Cashner.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Todays Transactions: June 6th, 2014

Eddie Butler - (Colorado Rockies)  Contract purchased from minors
Butler, 23, is a solid pitching prospect for the Rockies who is 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA for the Tulsa Drillers in 11 starts. He has punched out 40 and walked 19 in 68.2 innings.
Cesar Jimenez - (Philadelphia Phillies)  Designated for Assignment
Jimenez made two appearances out the Phillies 'pen after resigning with the Phillies on a minor league contract. Had made 19 appearances for the Phillies AAA affiliate in Leigh Valley. DFA'd to make room for Luis Garcia
Luis Garcia - (Philadelphia Phillies)  Activated from DL
He had struggled in 3 appearances with the Phillies before going on the DL with a strained right forearm. Didn't allow a run in 14.2 innings in a rehab stint for Leigh Valley
Luis Garcia - (Philadelphia Phillies)  Recalled from minor league rehab assignment

Thursday, June 5, 2014

MLB draft live chat

Click Here

Come check it out.  I will be discussing the draft picks and answer questions anyone has.