Justin Verlander Weird Pitch Video: Is the Tigers SP's Erratic Outing a Concern?
Justin Verlander threw a bizarre pitch at Oakland's David DeJesus on Saturday that appeared to begin as a throw to first before becoming one of the odder balks you'll see in an MLB game.
According to Yahoo.com's Big League Stew, "A's manager Bob Geren called it 'the strangest thing he had ever seen.'"
Verlander and the Tigers lost the game, 6-2, and Verlander's overall line indicated that he wasn't his normal self, with 11 baserunners in six innings. Verlander is now 1-2 on the season, though his 3.41 ERA and 1.07 WHIP don't suggest any real warning signs for his fantasy baseball owners.
That said, the imposing Verlander isn't too far removed from a nightmarish 2008 campaign in which he went 11-17 with a 4.84 ERA. He's not the safest of bets among the elite arms in fantasy baseball.
Everything looks OK with a glance at his PITCHf/x numbers, though, including a very healthy 94.3 mph for his average fastball velocity despite it being April. One interesting thing to note is that Verlander is throwing significantly more changeups this season (22.4 percent) than his career average (14 percent), but that's probably a good thing for the sake of his durability when you consider the stress on his arm from dialing it up past 100 mph sometimes.
While Verlander may hold more trade value than actual value in most fantasy leagues, he's a no-brainer must-start in all formats, so don't let this goof concern you unless he starts pulling a Rick Ankiel.
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