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Tigersfan3279
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There was a blurb online (Yahoo?) that mentioned that Verlander would likely start the Sunday before the all star game and therefore would be ineligible to pitch in the all star game. I guess I am not sure so sure that he should be on the all star game this season, if you consider 2013 to be the criteria for all star worthiness.

I wouldn't consider him an all star this season. We're lucky though, Scherzer and Verlander have basically just swapped roles in our starting lineup and the team has barely skipped a beat. Just imagine how dominant they'll be if Verlander finds his form in the second half.

IMO, just watching him pitch he seems to have trouble locating his fastball in the strike zone. He can get it over for a strike, but isn't able to locate it on the black like he used to. I also wonder if he's losing some late movement (thanks Jim Price!) This would definitely explain an inability to be economical with his pitches since he used to be able to just blow away the bottom halves of batting orders. Is there data anywhere that indicates how many strikeouts Justin is getting with his fastball this year vs. previous seasons?

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I don't do the whole in depth stats racket, so from my casual observations he's not getting any swings and misses. He can't put people away. If that's mostly due to location, then fine. Fix it. This is the MLB, not rec league.

But it may be the California Penal League.

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There was a blurb online (Yahoo?) that mentioned that Verlander would likely start the Sunday before the all star game and therefore would be ineligible to pitch in the all star game. I guess I am not sure so sure that he should be on the all star game this season, if you consider 2013 to be the criteria for all star worthiness.

He would have to toss a couple perfect no-hitters to even be considered for the all-star game this year.

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I don't do the whole in depth stats racket, so from my casual observations he's not getting any swings and misses. He can't put people away. If that's mostly due to location, then fine. Fix it. This is the MLB, not rec league.

Maybe you should, as you'd be shocked to learn that Verlander's strikeout rate is the highest it's ever been in his career.

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Maybe you should, as you'd be shocked to learn that Verlander's strikeout rate is the highest it's ever been in his career.

While true, the caveat here is that it's easier to strike out more batters per inning when facing more batters per inning.

His K/9 rate is about 13% higher this season than last.

He's faced close to 8% more batters per inning this season than last.

Likewise, Scherzer's K/9 is lower this season than last but he's also facing far fewer batters per inning too.

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Seems like that fastball is still good enough to not get tattooed but not quite good enough to avoid the hitters from fouling them off.

Between that and the walks is a good reason why he usually has around 100 pitches by the fifth and sixth innings.

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Post-Kate Upton Verlander = Post-Random Women Tiger Woods?

Tiger Woods has won 4 times on Tour this year, reclaimed #1 (which no one thought he would do) and leads the world in money earned because of winning golf tournaments, all of this while playing less than everyone else. But that's this year.

I hope it doesn't take Verlander 4 years to figure things out.

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Seems like that fastball is still good enough to not get tattooed but not quite good enough to avoid the hitters from fouling them off.

Between that and the walks is a good reason why he usually has around 100 pitches by the fifth and sixth innings.

This seems like as good a summary as any. I wonder if the Tigers management feels that they know the reason for the slump? A change in mechanics, a slip in mechanics, injury or aging, or just something flukey?

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I've been sort of throwing this theory around on Twitter and various message boards, so forgive me if this is old news, but I was looking at Verlander's player card on Brooks Baseball the other day and noticed a couple things about his vertical release point:

2013&minmax=ci&var=z0

The two things that stick out to me are how low his release point was in 2011, when he was insanely good, and how high his release point is this year...hasn't been this high since the end of 2008, when he was obviously not pitching well. I'm not an expert on pitching mechanics by any means, but it stands to reason that a difference of 2-6 inches at the release point may cause some serious command issues. And it also stands to reason that releasing the ball higher up may result in less horizontal movement on the fastball, which seems to be the case when I'm watching him pitch. I don't know, as I said, it's just a theory...but I figured I'd put it out there to see what other people think.

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Chris, I actually threw out the same chart on twitter. I had two people tell me that a higher release point was better, but I don't know them well enough to know if they know anything. I would guess that there is such a thing as a release point being too high especially when he had success with a lower one. I'm not knowledgeable about pitching mechanics though.

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Yeah, I tried for a while, but Twitter is such a huge time suck... plus when I inevitably get too involved in politics, I begin to hate myself.

Getting involved in politics on twitter or any place on the internet can definitely be an unhealthy activity.

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A higher release point is generally considered to be safer. One of the reasons a lot of people thought Scherzer would be a constant injury risk is his low arm angle. Better in terms of performance is dependent on the pitcher's arsenal, I suppose.

Either way, the most notable difference is lack of horizontal movement on the fastball and curveball specifically, leading to fewer swinging strikes on the former, and throwing the latter a lot less. Less movement on the fastball would lead to more fouls, longer ABs, and everything else people have identified. He's also getting really unlucky, so that's not helping matters.

I think he's tinkering and he's been tinkering all season. Felix Hernandez changed the way he pitched and brought less velocity to the table last year. Everyone freaked out until they realized he's still ridiculous good. Verlander still has the peripherals to be really really good, so I don't think alarm is in order just yet. This is a good year to be tinkering, if you think about it. The Tigers don't really need any of his "ace" qualities right now. They have two other #1s right now, and they could probably win the division even if Verlander missed the rest of the season.

You just hope it works out, because the last time he really spent time tinkering was in 08, and it got Chuck Hernandez fired.

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