Verlander on the 4th?

I’m not necessarily advocating this, but Danny Knobler raised the issue of Justin Verlander pitching part of the doubleheader on the 4th. My first reaction was “absolutely not!” But then I thought, would it really be that bad?

If everyone understands that this is a one game call-up, and that no matter how he performs he would return to Erie, I don’t see it having major consequences. From a roster management perspective, the Tigers are already using a 40 man spot, and option year for Verlander. From a service time standpoint, one day of service time isn’t going to accelerate his arbitration clock.

Now Verlander only has two starts at AA, and he’s done well, but that is very limited exposure above A ball. If he pitches poorly, it could rattle his confidence and mess up the progress he’s made. If he pitches well, the Tigers will face pressure to keep him up (which I’d be against).

So while there aren’t really compelling reasons not to bring him up, there are even fewer reason to give him a shot. While it would definitely create a buzz, that is about the only positive. I’m not sure that he would give the team a significantly better shot at winning than Matt Ginter or Kenny Baugh would. While it would be more interesting to see Verlander pitch, that is a pretty lame reason.

I guess my take is that I wouldn’t be upset if it were to happen, but I don’t really see the point.

What do you guys think? Please Discuss.


  1. Boston Fan in Michigan

    June 29, 2005 at 4:44 pm

    I don’t want it done.

    I’ve been a big advocate for taking it slow with Verlander… I think the possibility of him getting severely rattled at the major league level is all too real; I think the gap between low minor league batters and major league batters (even a usually light-hitting Cleveland squad) is pretty wide; I have no evidence that he has any unusual level of maturity (read: Bonderman) that would mean he’d be unharmed, mentally, by getting knocked around in the bigs this early.

    Plus (and I’m not clear on this, a-cause me stupid), wouldn’t that start his arb clock?

  2. Chris

    June 29, 2005 at 5:04 pm

    The arbitration clock is based on major league service time. If he’s only up for one day, he would now have one day of service time. I think the number to be eligible for arbitration is 516 (with 172 being the maximum for a single year), basicaly three full years of major league service time.

    And they wouldn’t be using an option year because it was already used during spring training.

    The only problem with this plan is Verlander is scheduled to pitch Friday. There is no chance in the world he would pitch on short rest, so if he skips his Friday start at Erie, it would be 9 days since his last start if he pitches Monday.

    My opinion if you want to use Verlander, wait to use him on his normal schedule. Pitch him Friday night vs. the Yankees at the CoPa!!!! I guarantee it will sell out the place if it isn’t already. Then use Bonderman Saturday, Douglass Sunday, and use Robertson and Johnson on normal rest for Monday.

  3. Doug Purdie

    June 29, 2005 at 6:10 pm

    Heck, why not Zumaya? His 90-some-odd AA innings give him significantly more seasoning than Verlander’s 14. I’ am also curious to see how many major leagers he can wiff compared to the 12 AAer’s per 9 innings he’s been wiffing.

    Bringing Ledezma back up for a day might not be a bad idea either. It would give him a confidence boost to know that he’s still on the Tiger’s radar screen.

  4. Bryan

    June 29, 2005 at 6:45 pm

    I really hope they don’t do it.

    He’s only worked 14 innings in AA-ball, and granted, he’s been outstanding, but there is no reason to rush it. You bring him up and he pitches well, and you’ve got a lot of people asking why we’re sending him back down, and he’s probably wondering the same thing. You bring him up and he gets shelled, and you risk a blow to whatever confidence he’s built up so far.

    And as Chris said, he’s scheduled to pitch friday, so you have to take that start away from him, and make him wait. Why you would want to do that when he is pitching out of his mind down in Erie right now, I have no idea. Leave him alone, and let him dominate batters down in Erie.

    This shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion right now. Honestly, I don’t want to see him up at all this year, but I’ll understand if he’s here in September. But right now? Absolutely not. Give Ledezma the ball and a chance to prove he still belongs, make sure he knows he’s important to this club.

  5. Jeff

    June 30, 2005 at 1:50 am

    Whoever knows the most about pitcher development in the Tiger organization should be in charge of Verlander. Not Trammell or anyone worrying about the big club. With that in mind, Verlander should stay in AA, unless his minders think that a single big-league start would help motivate him or something, but I can’t see that being the case.

    Let Ledezma or Ginter or Baugh start.

  6. Chris

    June 30, 2005 at 2:01 am

    One more note on Verlander, he is also going to pitch in the futures game next Sunday, meaning he will not start for Erie next week. That means one real start in two weeks if they decide to call him up. Not a good idea when he’s in this kind of a groove.

    Baugh and Ginter will be on normal rest for Monday with Ledezma on 3 days if he starts tomorow for Toledo. One of those three seems most realistic.

    I’m leaning toward Ginter because I think that was the reason they sent him down, for him to get his arm stretched out with some longer outings.

  7. Pat

    June 30, 2005 at 10:27 am

    Plugging him into the rotation, even for a single game, will only increase the organizational and media pressure on this kid to become a MLB star before he’s ready. When he is ready, his promotion should be a permanent one. It seems like starting him on the 4th is nothing more than a move to appease wayward fans.

  8. joey

    June 30, 2005 at 11:13 am

    Yeah…who keep becoming more wayward with each horrible, one-run loss! I’m more frustrated with this team right now than I have been all season. How many hits did we end up with last night? 15?

    15 hits and only three runs?!!!

  9. Rob V.

    June 30, 2005 at 11:26 am

    One start in Detroit isn’t going to ruin Verlander, but one start in Detroit also isn’t going to change the fact that this team, while making strides, isn’t quite ready for prime time.

    Let him get his work in this season at Erie, then give him an opportunity to make the club next spring. It’s not as if we’re one arm short of a pennant in ’05.

  10. Boston Fan in Michigan

    June 30, 2005 at 2:37 pm

    Yeah. Right now I’d say we’re closer to one bat short of a pennant, although of course it’s not just one thing. But on the whole pitching has been fine for us…

  11. Rob V.

    June 30, 2005 at 10:25 pm

    That’s one helluva big bat we’re missing.

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