'10 TigsTown Player Capsule: Justin Verlander

Verlander was the team's ace once again

Ready to take a look back at the performers of 2010 and what's in store for them in 2011? Head inside to read the 2010 player capsules! Verlander was once again the club's ace in 2010, as he totaled up wins and strikeouts once again.

Five Numbers That Sum Up The Season

FIP

ERA+

K/9

HR/FB

Pitches/Game

2.97

124

8.8

5.6%

113.5


What It All Means

It was just another year on the job for Justin Verlander, as he racked up strikeouts and qualified for another All-Star team en route to an 18 win season as the Tigers ace. His ERA+ has been right along the same lines as his career marks, and the same can be said for his strikeout rate, though it wasn't quite as strong as it was in 2009 when he led the AL in K's. Verlander's FIP was under three for the second straight year, showing just how well he pitched in isolation of other factors. One catch though was his very low home run rate on fly balls; at 5.6%, that came in well below his career average (7.6%) and what you would typically expect out of a non-ground ball pitcher. In other words, expect a few more long balls via the arm of JV than what we saw in 2010. Of continued concern of course with Verlander will be his high pitch counts, as he averaged almost 114 pitches per game last season, which is actually one pitch more per game than what he threw in 2009 when many were worried about his workload.

What Does the Future Hold

Verlander is the Tigers' ace, and so long as he's pitching like he has been, there will be no concern of him losing that place anytime soon. And even if he did lose that title to another top arm coming up, he's still under contract with the Tigers for big dollars through 2014, so needless to say, the Tigers should get used to having Verlander at the top of the rotation for years to come, that is of course assuming the intense workload that he's been under the past couple years doesn't catch up with him and cause arm problems as he ages. Thus far in his career, he's shown a remarkable ability to manage a heavy workload with little side effects, but to continue that for a long period of time is rare, and it's something the Tigers will need to be mindful about, especially having just come out from under paying a number of pitchers a large sum of money to be mostly ineffective for them, if they even still pitched for the big league team.

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