On the 6th Day…

Justin Verlander had a dominating performance today throwing 8 shut out innings. He was making a start on 5 days rest, and it wasn’t the first time he seems to have benefited from an extra day of vacation. In fact, in his 4 top starts (ranked by Game Score) 3 have come when he’s had more than 4 days of rest.

In listening to today’s game, Jim & Dan indicated that Verlander seemed to be throwing free and easy with more bite and velocity than he had of late. So qualitatively he seemed to benefit from the extra rest, but what do the numbers show?

	4-Days	> 4-Days
Starts	9	7
Record	4-3	6-1
Inn Pit	55.3	48.3
WHIP	1.41	1.08
HR's	9        2
BB/9	3.09	2.23
K/9	5.53	5.77
K/BB	1.79	2.58
ERA	3.90	2.23

Across the board Verlander’s numbers are better when he gets more than the standard 4 days rest. While 9 and 7 games aren’t huge sample sizes, the evidence looks compelling at this point that the youngster does better with extra rest.

As the season progresses and Verlander is stretched farther than he ever has been, it is something that I would hope Jim Leyland looks to exploit. Fortunately the Tigers have had only one rain out to date and no double headers are scheduled as of yet. Also, the Tigers have options they can turn to for spot starts such as Wil Ledezma or Humberto Sanchez.

The most intriguing option may be taking a couple turns with a six man rotation. Should Mike Maroth make it back this year, and Zach Miner continue to pitch well, it would be hard to limit the rotation to 5. The downside to a six man rotation is that there is one less bullpen arm (or one less position player) available. But Jim Leyland has shown time and time again he is willing to go the unconventional route, and with remarkable success.

UPDATE: This just in, yesterday was not the 29th, but only the 28th. Other breaking news is that I’m an idiot. As Kurt points out in the comments, yesterday was only on 4 days rest. My calculations were based on my strong belief that yesterday was June 29th. I suck. Sorry. I’ll fix the numbers tonight, and with yesterday’s start moved into the 4 day rest category I imagine the numbers will be pretty much the same. A whole post down the drain. I suck.

UPDATE 2: Here is the revised table. This shows me there really isn’t much of a difference, except that he pitches more innings when he has the extra day of rest.

	4-Days	> 4-Days
Starts	10	6
Record	5-3	5-1
Inn Pit	55.3	48.3
WHIP	1.30	1.21
HR's	9	2
BB/9	2.74	2.68
K/9	5.92	5.36
K/BB	2.16	2.00
ERA	3.47	2.68

(Data from Baseball Musings Day by Day Database and today’s box score. Also, I classified Verlander’s first start of the season in the > 4 day bucket)

14 Comments

  1. Jeff M

    June 28, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    The conclusion looks pretty obvious, but you’re right that it’s a small sample size. Can you give us a quick rundown of the opponents?

  2. Will

    June 29, 2006 at 10:27 am

    The detroit news has recently put an mp3 of a local band’s tribute song to the Tigers entitled “Who’s Your Tiger”. Check out the story in today’s detnews.com and download and listen to it. HA.

    http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.d...../606290357

  3. Marshall in DC

    June 29, 2006 at 10:29 am

    This is pretty much to be expected with any pitcher I would think.

    While opponents would be interesting, I think the other factor to look at is progression. Take those stats from first 8 games and compare that to the last 8 games. Yesterdays game was a work of art.

    Finally – How is Mike Maroth progressing? Haven’t heard from him, and it will be interesting to see what the Tigs do if he can come back?

  4. Kurt

    June 29, 2006 at 11:00 am

    While I’m sure there’s benefit to the extra rest, I think it’s not as pronounced as those stats would indicate. He actually only had four days rest, not five. There was no off day this rotation.

    The second, if you look at his game log, for about the past month it hasn’t mattered whether he had four or five days. He’s had bad days on five and good days on four. (He twice gave up four runs on five days rest, and he allowed two runs or less three times on four days). Look at May and it’s similar. He allowed both three runs and no runs after the extra rest, but also allowed 0, 1 and 3 runs without the extra day.

    I’m not sure how different if woudl look if you took out the seven runs in two innings he gave up in his second start this season, but I bet it would be pretty close to even.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....yerId=6341

    Just my thoughts. Keep up the good work, Bilfer, you’re always my first stop.

  5. Jeff M

    June 29, 2006 at 11:16 am

    Marshall, Maroth is doing fine. I think he’s still a couple months away from rejoining the team, but he was at a practice last week and he has started to throw lightly.

  6. Chris M

    June 29, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Since the Tigers have the day off today, it looks like Verlander should be well rested for his next start.

    I was looking through the Tigers schedule and it looks like they don’t have any doubleheaders scheduled. So if the Tigers go to a six man rotation for a while, everyone should get 5 days rest.

  7. Marshall in DC

    June 29, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    Great news Jeff . . .Makes you wonder if a guy like Maroth – if showing no major hang-up with his surgery would be good trade bait.

    Hate to get rid of pitchers but with Sanchez doing OK in AAA, and the rest of the Tiger Rotation doing so well would Maroth be trade bait for a load of good prospects. Thoughts?

  8. Anne

    June 29, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    Billfer–take it easy on yourself. We love you. šŸ™‚ I can barely keep track of what month it is when summer comes.

  9. Jeff M

    June 29, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    Makes you wonder if a guy like Maroth – if showing no major hang-up with his surgery would be good trade bait.

    Nah, you’d have a hard time giving him away at this point. He needs to get some innings in before anyone would offer much for him.

    This just in, yesterday was not the 29th, but only the 28th. Other breaking news is that Iā€™m an idiot.

    It’s no big deal, man. There’s no reason to call extra attention to human error. I certainly didn’t notice.

  10. Kevin

    June 29, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    Didn’t know where else to put this, so I’ll put it in this thread…from the detroittigers mailing list.

    VOTE NOW – PUDGE NEEDS YOUR HELP
    What are you waiting for? Voting ends today.

    According to Tuesday’s All-Star update, just over 40,000 votes
    stand between Ivan Rodriguez and his chance to be a starter at
    the 2006 All-Star Game next month, with voting ending today.

    Fans can continue to vote, up to 25 times, with the Monster.com
    2006 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites,
    until the fast-approaching deadline. Online balloting ends at
    11:59 p.m. ET tonight, Thursday, June 29.

    Vote the full 25 times — it’ll help Pudge pass the Red Sox’s
    Jason Varitek in the polls for starting catcher.

    My 2 pennies…
    Don’t vote for Pudge, we are in a pennant race this year and need the players healthy for the 2nd half for a change. I hope Omar Infante is the token Tiger.

  11. Anne

    June 29, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    Frankly, I’ve used up all my votes voting the all-Tiger ticket. Is the All-Star game really that rough on players? They play a couple of innings max. Geez, please don’t tell me I’ve ruined our playoff chances by voting for Pudge! šŸ™‚ Just kidding. I’m sure the players could use the rest, but I selfishly must admit I enjoy the game more when our guys are in it.

  12. Kevin

    June 29, 2006 at 10:31 pm

    Actually, you are right..it is more fun when there is more Tigers in the game. I just think out of anyone on the team, I would least like to see Pudge playing on the All-Star team. I think the Tigers would be better served if he was allowed to take a three day vacation. Same goes for the pitchers.

  13. Taylor

    June 29, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    It is only a few innings, but if they don’t play they don’t have to 1. Travel 2. Suit up and 3. worry about getting hurt.

    I think we’d be better off having the guys get 3 days OFF. It will be a good rest for them.

    I’m voting for Dimitri personally. He can be the token Tiger. šŸ˜‰

  14. Anne

    June 30, 2006 at 8:59 am

    He could be the first minor-leaguer to appear in the Major League All-Star game! šŸ™‚