The Latest on Justin Verlander
Now, he is backing away from those comments.
When Verlander heard Dombrowski’s announcement, he was reportedly confused why the GM thought they way he did. Verlander indicated that he would be ready to ”hit the ground running” by the time April comes around.
Shortly thereafter, Dombrowski changed his tune. He told the Detroit News on Saturday that “we anticipate that he will be ready for the start of the season, and he should be ready.”
Verlander is the ultimate competitor, so he obviously will do everything in his power to pitch as many games as possible for his team. But is this the smartest thing to do?
I think that teams make Opening Day more important than it really is. It is the first game of the season, but there are 162 games in all, and in the standings they all have the same importance. Targeting March 31st as a return date is a bit misleading for a ballclub.
Especially coming off a down year, Verlander should take as much time as he needs to regroup and get healthy. Realistically, Tiger teammate Max Scherzer will start Opening Day, so why should Verlander risk further injury to return for a game he won’t leave the dugout?
I think that Verlander is going to bounce back admirably in 2014. He will win more than 15 games while maintaining an ERA below 3.50. He should be one of the top seven pitchers taken in every fantasy draft, and is dating swimsuit model Kate Upton.
Why should he put the season in jeopardy by pitching a game in April against the Royals?
Getting completely healthy should be the top priority. The Tigers are going to need Verlander down the stretch in the regular season and hopefully in the Playoffs.