I’ve been saying for the past three years that Justin Verlander is over-rated and that he isn’t even the best pitcher on his own staff—let alone the best pitcher in baseball like his most avid cheerleaders in the media have been contending.
If you’ll notice he always seems to have one or two “meltdown” innings (like the Rangers Derek Holland)—especially against tougher lineups. With Derek, it’s easier to understand since his fastballs are straight as an arrow and he has to rely on pinpoint control, changing eye levels and working both sides of the plate in order to be successful.
But Verlander is another story. Not only is his fastball consistently clocked between 05 and 98 mph (even after the 6th inning), but his pitches all have good-to-great movement. His problems aren’t with “stuff”, so I’ve concluded that his lapses can be traced to his head: a spot missed here or a dumb pitch selection there—and it’s culminated in an underwhelming ERA and Won-Lost record for someone whose talent suggests that he ought to be a lot better.
Filed under: MLB