I plan on making a trade for Justin Verlander in my fantasy league. But I don’t know who to give up. My starting pitching staff includes Francisco Liriano, Javier Vazquez, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Cain, and Zach Greinke. Who would you trade?
The only difficulty I see with Verlander is that he will continue to have a brutal defense behind him. His strand rate isn’t going to be 40% of course, but last year it was 65% and that may be a reasonable over-under for this year too.
Early in ST, I heard that they were working on softening Verlander’s landing leg. I don’t know what they were specifically working on (probably trying to not land as stiff on the leading leg), but Verlander tended to land on his heel in the past (which can lead to command issues)..
I expect more Ks this year with the increased velocity, and hes also quietly increased his O-Swing% each year. I suspect this is because hes decreased the difference between his fastball and offspeed pitches in the last few years.
After a rocky start, his command in the start against Seattle was tremendous. I wouldn’t be suprised to see the BB rate to also go down despite the higher BB/9 this year (if they fixed his landing leg flaw).
It could be a breakout season for Verlander this year.
I have one concern. He’s been awfully hittable from the stretch so far. Absolutely dominant from the windup but as soon as he allows a baserunner it all seems to fall apart. Has anyone done a study on this sort of thing? Do pitchers ever just not have it from the stretch or this unquestionably bad luck?
Verlander is a great get if possible. His fastball has gained more speed than any other starter (09 fastball thus far compared to 08 fastball speed). This time last year the two pitchers with the largest increases were Ervin Santana and Tim Lincecum.
Honestly i haven’t paid any attention to his mechanics other than what we’ve all been reading about his release point (and the landing foot thing, which is news to me). Maybe i’ll break out the no-hitter dvd and take a look.
Although, if it is a mechanics thing Knapp should catch it pretty fast.
Actually, the Tigers’ fielders have played better defense behind every other starting pitcher. Brandon Inge, in particular, has made two very costly errors in Verlander’s starts that probably cost him 2 wins (1 win for sure.)
I think his strand rate will be low this year, too, because Jim Leyland misuses him. He always leaves him in the game one inning too long, and then he gets pulled with runners on base, which the bullpen promptly allows to score. IMO, that was the main reason for his low strand rate in 2008 – extremely poor bullpen support.
As a Tigers fan who’s never been as big of a Verlander fan as most every other Tiger fan, I feel obligated to point out that he’s sporting a 9.2% BB rate thus far to go with his 26.3% K rate. He’ll always walk too many batters to be anything more than a No. 2 — and I’m not even sold that his K rate is sustainable. I think he’s more around 20% at best.
Tigers defense this year is infinitely better than it was last year. Cabrera is doing a solid job learning 1st (already posting a + UZR), and Inge, Everett, Polanco, and Laird are all very quality defenders. The only subpar defenders on the team right now are Magglio, and whoever plays LF that isn’t Josh Anderson. I think Verlander might be able to handle the lack of gold glovers in the corner outfield.
OK so he’s a free agent in my league. I’m dropping Wakefield immediately after tomorrow’s start to pick him up(he always shreds my Twins in Fenway) But I’m already temporarily running one extra pitcher so as to get all of my starts this week. The question is who do I drop or trade between the rest: Billingsly, Liriano, Cain, Nolasco, Jurjens, and Chamberlain? My relievers are Soria and Qualls, neither of whom I’m keen to part with.
Ryan Raburn, recently called up from AAA, botched two pretty simple plays in right field last night. He added probably 20 pitches onto the outing. Verlander didn’t pitch well, but he certainly didn’t deserve to have all of those runs be earned. The official scorer there has been ridiculous this series. The first inning HR came on a curveball that ended, rather than started, at the knees. The fifth inning, he gave up 3 hits in a row on fastballs away. He rarely comes in with it. And as we all know, 95 mph is no better than 85 on that side of the plate. You have to come in with it for the velocity to be an advantage.
I watched him last night and this thought occured to me: The k/9 (and secondary stats built on that) can be misleading when a guy puts a ton of batters on base. Striking out 11 of 40 batters faces is less impressive than 11 of 35. Seems like K/plate appearance would be more meaningful.
I’m sure others have thought this through, so why do we still use k/9. Because its easier? Or is it more meaningful in a way that escapes me?
Comment by Steve Balboni — April 23, 2009 @ 11:47 am
since they are two hot players of discussion here…
who would get the better of a Verlander for Fukudome trade?
Going into the season, I thought (felt in my gut by channeling my inner Charlie Manuel) that Fukudome would perform ‘better’ this year compared to last, though certainly not as well as he’s produced thus far. But I’ve always been a Verlander fan, and think he has the higher upside, even with the struggles last season.
If we are speculating on both players, who do people think will end up with the better lines at the end of this season?
I missed Verlander’s performance last night, so it’s interesting to hear that Detroit defense & bullpen both added to his recent woes.