What Happened to Justin Verlander?

Posted on July 7th, 2014 by Matt

For almost a decade, Justin Verlander has been among the very best starting pitchers in all of baseball. The powerful right-hander has spent his entire career in Detroit, and has racked up incredible strikeout totals along with low ERA’s and a Cy Young Award. Recently, the Tigers awarded him with a big contract, and for good reason – it appeared to be a sure thing that Verlander, barring injury, would remain an excellent starting pitcher for years to come.

However, so far in 2014, that has not been the case. Verlander is enduring one of the toughest stretches of his career, and it is starting to verlandercause concern about whether or not he will be able to regain his dominant form. The numbers, for the most part, tell the story. Through 15 starts, Verlander has a 6-7 record with a 4.98 ERA that is among the highest in the league for qualified starting pitchers. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that he has only struck out 69 batters in 97.2 innings, while walking 41. To be sure, this is not the Justin Verlander that we are all used to seeing.

What has gone wrong?

It is hard to pinpoint exactly what has caused Verlander’s struggles so far this year. His velocity is down from where it has been in previous seasons, so that could certainly be playing a part in the results. Without the overpowering fastball to set up his impressive breaking ball, Verlander might just be a little less worrisome to opposing hitters. Not having to fear the heater blowing right past them, batters are more able to adjust to off speed pitches.

Is He Hurt?

Of course, when a great pitcher starts to struggle, the conversation will quickly turn to whether or not he is hurt and just pitching through the pain. That is always a possibility, but doesn’t seem to be the case with Verlander. Other than the dip in velocity, he hasn’t shown obvious signs of injury, and certainly isn’t letting on to anything being wrong in his arm. Only time will tell if there is an underlying injury that can be pointed to as an explanation for his struggles, or if he is just dealing with a dip in performance.

Justin Verlander Baseball Cards and Memorabilia

Just because he is going through a rough stretch right now doesn’t mean you should cross Verlander’s name off your list of collectibles to pursue. With a long track record of excellent performance, there is a good chance that Verlander will get things figured out and go back to being a productive starting pitcher in the near future. Even if he doesn’t reach his once lofty levels of performance, he could still return to being well above-average and a quality contributor to the Tigers rotation. Detroit has currently been passed in the standings by the Kansas City Royals, so getting Verlander to return to form could be crucial in getting the Tiger’s season back on track.



Houston Astros 2018 Game Worn Used Signed Justin Verlander Jersey Photo Matched picture
Houston Astros 2018 Game Worn Used Signed Justin Verlander Jersey Photo Matched
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Justin Verlander Game Used No Hit MLB Baseball Photo Matched Career K #2963.  picture
Justin Verlander Game Used No Hit MLB Baseball Photo Matched Career K #2963.
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2005 SP Authentic Justin Verlander  RC AUTO BGS 10 PRISTINE  3rd no hitter picture
2005 SP Authentic Justin Verlander RC AUTO BGS 10 PRISTINE 3rd no hitter
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Justin Verlander 2005 Topps Chrome Red #17/25 Certified Auto picture
Justin Verlander 2005 Topps Chrome Red #17/25 Certified Auto
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Detroit Tigers used Pow'r Wrap bat weight CABRERA VERLANDER MARTINEZ SCHERZER picture
Detroit Tigers used Pow'r Wrap bat weight CABRERA VERLANDER MARTINEZ SCHERZER
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Justin Verlander 2005 BOWMAN FIRST YEAR #331 CHROME AUTO GOLD REFRACTOR RC 02/50 picture
Justin Verlander 2005 BOWMAN FIRST YEAR #331 CHROME AUTO GOLD REFRACTOR RC 02/50
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2012 ALDS RECORD SERIES JUSTIN VERLANDER THROWN SIGNED  BALL 10-11-2012 RARIST picture
2012 ALDS RECORD SERIES JUSTIN VERLANDER THROWN SIGNED BALL 10-11-2012 RARIST
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Justin Verlander last 2 MLB auth Detroit Tigers Strikeout game used Baseball (s) picture
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Justin Verlander 2017 Houston Astros Debut Game with Yuli Gurriel on First Base  picture
Justin Verlander 2017 Houston Astros Debut Game with Yuli Gurriel on First Base
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2009 TOPPS TRIPLE THREADS JUSTIN VERLANDER ENTIRE  ALL STAR GAME PATCH   1 OF 1  picture
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Mike Trout Derek Jeter Justin Verlander 2012 All Star Game Signed Game Hat JSA picture
Mike Trout Derek Jeter Justin Verlander 2012 All Star Game Signed Game Hat JSA
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