Friday, March 20, 2009
Justin Verlander 2009
Although his earned run average was more than a full run worse last year than it had been either of the previous two year, my feeling at the end of last season was that Justin Verlander was the same pitcher he had always been. His strikeout rate of 7.1 per nine innings and his walk rate of 3.8 per nine innings were slightly worse than in 2007, but not out of line with his career averages at all. However, based on his Spring Training statistics so far, I'm beginning to wonder if there may be some more increasingly serious health issues for Verlander. In 15.1 innings pitched, he's struck out 7 batters and walked 12. While Spring Training statistics are notoriously unpredictable, I would prefer to avoid any unnecessary risks and steer clear of a situation like Verlander's until I see him begin to turn that ratio around.