Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander’s Resurgence Is A Great Sign Going Into 2016


With a record of 61-70 and last place in the American League Central, the Detroit Tigers have fallen a far ways away from the level that brough them four straight division championships.

And for now, that’s okay. A lot of things went wrong for the Tigers in 2015. Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, and Victor Martinez all missed significant time because of injuries.

More from Detroit Tigers

Coupled with Shane Greene, Alfredo Simon, and Anibal Sanchez‘s inconsistencies, the starting rotation is in shambles. With David Price traded away near the trade deadline, the Tigers’ rotation is an absolute mess.

Even the great Dave Dombrowski was fired and has moved on to the Boston Red Sox since then. The entire year of 2015 has been a mess for the Tigers organization and their fans.

But there’s one sliver of hope going into next year, and his name is Justin Verlander.

Let’s be blunt for a second. Verlander has been ridiculed for years now since his unbelievable 2011 and 2012 seasons. Those were the years when he became just a merely good pitcher to great. He won the MVP and Cy Young in 2011, and quite frankly should have won the Cy in 2012.

But since 2013, Verlander has faced non-stop criticism from the fans and the media. He “struggled” in 2013 to the tune of a 3.46 ERA, which to his high standards, isn’t great.

And the wheels unraveled in 2014 when he would just pitch the Tigers out of some games. He posted a 4.54 ERA in 206 IP that year. Both local and national media scrutinized Verlander and for good reason.

He just wasn’t pitching great. He was coming off core surgery before the 2014 season and that seemed to not only affect his pitching but his great stamina.

His velocity was down and he just didn’t look right all season. Luckily for the Tigers the rest of the staff was so good that they still scraped by to make the playoffs, winning 90 games and their fourth straight division title.

But in 2015 with such a putrid staff, the Verlander of old is so much more needed than usual. And boy has he looked good in his past few starts.

Live Feed

Detroit Tigers get pick no. 11 in MLB Draft Lottery
Detroit Tigers get pick no. 11 in MLB Draft Lottery /

Motor City Bengals

  • Former Detroit Tigers announcer shares pair of touching stories about Jim LeylandMotor City Bengals
  • Detroit Tigers News: AJ Hinch, Jim Leyland, more pitching, Winter Meetings updatesMotor City Bengals
  • Detroit Tigers should look to upgrade from Akil Baddoo this off-seasonMotor City Bengals
  • Detroit Tigers and A.J. Hinch reach agreement on a contract extensionMotor City Bengals
  • Guessing random Atlanta Braves players from the past: Here comes the brideHouse That Hank Built
  • Easily the highest point of Verlander’s starts recently has to be his near no-hitter against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. If it wasn’t for a Chris Iannetta double in the ninth inning, Verlander would have no-hitter number three in his career.

    And Verlander just looked good in that start. His slider was working along with his fastball. While he didn’t use his curveball often, it was effective when he did. Must See JV was back, and everybody knew it.

    While he didn’t look effective in his most recent start against the Kansas City Royals, he still put together a solid performance.

    Ever since the calendar turned to August, Verlander has been pitching lights out. Fans might not even notice though because the Tigers never seemed to get him enough run support.

    But the fact of the matter is, Verlander has just been plain good recently. In August, Verlander posted a poor 1-3 record, but pitched great in 36 IP. A 1.50 ERA should do all the talking about why pitcher’s win-loss record shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    With the current state of the starting rotation, any help the Tigers can get this year and next will be great. There are just so many questions if you’re seriously looking at the starters next year.

    Is Sanchez going to be healthy for a full season? Will the Tigers be able to rely on Greene? Who will fill the void of Simon?

    There’s just way too many questions revolving around the Tigers’ pitching. But Verlander being back absolutely helps the current situation.

    Once the Tigers are able to rely on their ace, stability can be found. He can be the leader and take this team back to the promised lands to the playoffs.

    While the Tigers’ pitching is still atrocious, they still have the ability to compete in 2016. Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd both have potential. And so do some pieces in the Tigers’ Minor League system.

    All in all, Verlander setting a solid foundation pays big dividends for this team. The offense is still top-notch with guys like Cabrera and J.D. Martinez tearing it up.

    Now, your thoughts. How do you think about Verlander? The starting rotation? Good? Bad? Whatever the case, Verlander has killed it recently and it should be a welcome sight for all Tigers fans.

    Next: Detroit Tigers' Brad Ausmus' Future Appears Uncertain

    More from Detroit Jock City