After Wednesday's hard-luck loss to the Royals, the 25-year-old right-hander is 1-7 on the season with a 6.05 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. This is your sixth round pick we're talking about, so it's an obvious concern. Verlander has basically become a fixture on the most-dropped list.
Concerns have been raised about an early-season dip in velocity, and there's been open speculation about a shoulder injury. But his fastball was consistently 93-96 mph in his last start, and Verlander insists that he's healthy:
"My shoulder feels great, really good ... There's nothing the matter at all."
This, I'm afraid, is what a buy-low candidate looks like. You obviously can't get anyone at a discount when they're performing at their best. Verlander has been fairly candid in discussing what he believes to be an issue with his mechanics:
"I know what I need to work on. My front side is flying (open). When that happens, everything kind of flattens out on me. I've had a tendency to do that my whole career."
That actually sounds like a reasonable explanation, and a correctable problem. Thus, I'm buying, not selling -- and I'm certainly not dropping.
- Justin Verlander