After last night’s debacle where JV gave up 8 earned runs in two and two thirds of an inning, Verlander’s ERA jumped from 1.93 to 3.17. This was by far the worst outing of the year for JV and his shortest outing since he only completed two innings against the Mets back in June of 2010.
One bad outing wouldn't be a concern, but he struggled against the Indians the previous start as well where he had obvious control problems walking 5 including 3 in the first inning. Last night control seemed to be an issue or at least it seemed like it when JV tried to reach back to blow it buy hitters with the bases loaded in the 3rd and instead walked in two runs.
Now the thumb (to the right) was a concern early in the season but I have to wonder if it’s something more than that and all the pitches and innings are catching up to JV and he has a case of dead arm, or worse an injury of some sorts. Just take a look at the velocity chart from Fangraphs below and you can see before last night that he was far below his average since ’11.
Let’s just hope it’s a case of dead arm or something mechanical and not something worse where he’ll need to be shut down for some time. I highly recommend keeping an eye on his next start as well.
*To see other pitch type speeds besides his fastball, click here