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.



2009 Topps Triple Threads Justin Verlander All Star Game Patch 1 Of 1 picture
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Justin Verlander 2000K game /game used ball/MLB Holo- 5/18/2016 joins 2000k club picture
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2006 TOPPS CHROME RED REFRACTOR /90 JUSTIN VERLANDER RC PSA 10 CARDREGISTRYinc. picture
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BGS 9 JUSTIN VERLANDER 2006 TOPPS BLACK RC Logo  Rookie /55 RARE WS CHAMP  picture
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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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Incredible 2003 Justin Verlander Dustin Pedroia College Team Signed Baseball JSA picture
Incredible 2003 Justin Verlander Dustin Pedroia College Team Signed Baseball JSA
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Justin Verlander Astros to Detroit 2018 Topps NOW 713BW Platinum Black White 1/1 picture
Justin Verlander Astros to Detroit 2018 Topps NOW 713BW Platinum Black White 1/1
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JUSTIN VERLANDER 2005 BOWMAN CHROME BLUE REFRACTOR ROOKIE RC PSA 10 /150 POP 12 picture
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2017 Topps Now Relics Red Justin Verlander BASE/Awarded ALCS MVP  BGS 9.5 POP 1 picture
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JOSE ALTUVE 2014 TUCCI GAME USED MLB BAT - HOUSTON ASTROS -CRACKED VS. VERLANDER picture
JOSE ALTUVE 2014 TUCCI GAME USED MLB BAT - HOUSTON ASTROS -CRACKED VS. VERLANDER
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2005 topps Justin Verlander red xfractor auto 1/25 psa 8
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TOPPS 2017 Limited Trading Cards 10 Major Leaguer Masahiro Tanaka J. Verlander picture
TOPPS 2017 Limited Trading Cards 10 Major Leaguer Masahiro Tanaka J. Verlander
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