Chicago Cubs Rumors: Justin Verlander’s name continues to pop up in reports
By Jake Misener
Are things beginning to come apart?
Of all active big-league pitchers, Justin Verlander ranks fifth in innings pitched (2,463). He trails only CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, John Lackey and Felix Hernandez. Aside from Hernandez, Verlander is the youngest man on that list at just 34 years of age.
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As noted, last season, he was the Verlander of years’ past. But in 2017, he’s taken a step in the wrong direction. He owns a 4.50 ERA to go along with 4.1 BB/9 and just 8.7 K/9 in his 124 innings of work this year.
Remember how people were in a full-blown panic over Jake Arrieta‘s struggles earlier this year? Add a few years to him and pay him $28 million a year. That’s the situation Verlander finds himself in.
To be sure, he still has value. I’m not saying that Verlander is running on fumes because that’s pure speculation. He may have just struggled out of the gates.
Why would I think that?
As the Chicago Tribune points out, he has allowed more than three earned runs just one time since May 25. The velocity remains high, unlike the dip we’ve seen from Arrieta in 2017.
With at least two years of control left past this season, there is value – but also a great deal of risk.