— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) May 31, 2013
In case you're thinking Verlander is one of those good-hitting pitchers hiding out in the American League — no, he's not. He's had 24 career at-bats and has never gotten a hit. He's struck out in 14 of those. Sure, a home run derby is a tad different — but thems the facts, folks.
Verlander has not confined his campaigning to Twitter. It was talked about in the Tigers clubhouse on Friday, where Verlander told Chris Iott of MLive.com:
"I hit [homers] in BP all the time," Verlander said. "Why are you laughing? It's not a joke. In Houston, I hit one that would have went out of the stadium if it didn't hit the baggie. I'm a 5 o'clock hitter ... What's the worst thing that could happen? You go up there and not hit one. So what. Nobody would be expecting me to hit one anyway. I've got nothing to lose. I'm the dark horse."
What might be interesting, though, is a pitcher home run derby. We've already watched Tim Hudson, Clayton Kershaw, Yovani Gallardo and Travis Wood hit homers this season, the latter two actually have hit a pair. Let's see how Verlander would do against those guys.
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