Today is the first day of official spring training for baseball. Pitchers and catchers report today and the rest of the team will report on Monday. Up in Alpena, MI it is a nice brisk -4 degrees, but it feels like a -17 degrees outside. Needless to say it doesn't feel like spring for me just yet, but now I can start watching baseball. Going into camp the Detroit Tigers have a few question marks to look at, mostly their rotation and bullpen. So with today's post I figured I would talk about long time Tiger and usual fan favorite coming off of his worse season yet, Justin Verlander.
Verlander last season was dealing with a core muscle injury throughout the season last year. We saw his velocity on his fastball drop down to average speed of 94.2 mph. I believe that has a lot to do with his core muscle not being at a full 100%. Looking on past that his ERA+ for 2014 was a horrible 88 compared to his career average of 122. It seems a good portion of people are giving up on JV. I am not one of them. I believe his numbers were down, because of injuries. Chris Iott, beat writer for the Tigers on mlive.com wrote a good article talking about JV on off-season adding more weight and his pitch mixing. Along with that he also touches on a few things about the team.
I see JV bouncing back this season. I doubt he will be the Verlander of his 2011 Cy Young/ MVP season, but will bounce back to being a top of the rotation pitcher. If he can stay healthy JV will claim the title back of being the Tigers' ace pitcher. My prediction for JV he will win 15-18 games with a ERA right around 3.30-3.50 and will be back up around 200 strikeouts this season. Again its my predictions and maybe it is me being a hopeless romantic Tigers fan, but I think JV will bounce back as long as he stays healthy. Go Tigers!