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.



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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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 last 2 MLB authenticated Detroit Tiger Strikeout Baseballs picture
Justin Verlander last 2 MLB authenticated Detroit Tiger Strikeout Baseballs
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2005 Tops Chrome Refractors #242 Justin Verlander Rookie Card 10-10 picture
2005 Tops Chrome Refractors #242 Justin Verlander Rookie Card 10-10
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2005 05 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Autograph /50 Justin Verlander #331 BGS 9.5 picture
2005 05 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Autograph /50 Justin Verlander #331 BGS 9.5
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Justin Verlander 2005 Bowman Chrome X-Fractor 331 Rookie Card Rc BGS 9.5 Auto 10 picture
Justin Verlander 2005 Bowman Chrome X-Fractor 331 Rookie Card Rc BGS 9.5 Auto 10
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2005 Bowmam Chrome, Justin Verlander Auto. Gold Refractor, Graded PSA 9 picture
2005 Bowmam Chrome, Justin Verlander Auto. Gold Refractor, Graded PSA 9
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2006 TOPPS CHROME RED REFRACTOR /90 JUSTIN VERLANDER RC PSA 10 CARDREGISTRYinc. picture
2006 TOPPS CHROME RED REFRACTOR /90 JUSTIN VERLANDER RC PSA 10 CARDREGISTRYinc.
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2006 TOPPS 52 STYLE RED INK AUTO /52 JUSTIN VERLANDER RC BGS 9.5/10 POP 2 picture
2006 TOPPS 52 STYLE RED INK AUTO /52 JUSTIN VERLANDER RC BGS 9.5/10 POP 2
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The Finest Justin Verlander Signed Heavily Inscribed STAT Baseball Beckett COA picture
The Finest Justin Verlander Signed Heavily Inscribed STAT Baseball Beckett COA
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Justin Verlander 2500 Career K 2018 Topps NOW 221BW Platinum Black White 1/1 BW picture
Justin Verlander 2500 Career K 2018 Topps NOW 221BW Platinum Black White 1/1 BW
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Justin Verlander 2005 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Auto BGS 9/10 Auto picture
Justin Verlander 2005 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Auto BGS 9/10 Auto
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