Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander is among the many pitchers across the majors who have shown decreased velocity early this season, as Jeff Passan detailed in a recent story for Yahoo! Sports.
Verlander’s average fastball this season has registered 93.2 miles per hour, according to PITCHf/x data on FanGraphs.com. That’s his lowest mark in the seven seasons for which such data is available; his average last year was 94.7 mph.
Verlander, 30, acknowledged Wednesday that he’s aware his velocity is down. But he doesn’t seem concerned, either. “The most encouraging thing is it’s been picking up my last couple starts,” he said.
Verlander, who said he feels completely healthy, pointed out that he’s still building arm strength because he delayed the start of his offseason throwing program after logging 266 2/3 innings last year.
The 2008 season marked the last time Verlander’s average fastball dipped below 94 mph, according to PITCHf/x. That was his worst season in the big leagues. But Verlan