Verlander may not be faster, but he is stronger ... and feels as good as ever
FEB 27, 12:00p ET | Ken Rosenthal
Rotowire: Feb 17 / 9:51a ET
News: Verlander threw apprixomately 60 pitches in a bullpen session Tuesday, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Impact: Verlander has already generated a bunch of positive reports this winter, as he reportedly added 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason, following a highly disappointing 2014 campaign. Perhaps more important, he was able to get an earlier start on his offseason throwing program, after core repair surgery limited him in that regard last year. He's one of the more obvious bounce-back candidates, even if a return to his dominant peak form is unlikely.
Rotowire: Feb 2 / 3:45p ET
News: Verlander said that he added 20 pounds of muscle this offseason, and he was able to begin throwing earlier in the winter in preparation for the upcoming season than he was a year ago when he was recovering from core repair surgery, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Impact: While Verlander fared better during the second half of 2014 (7.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.97 ERA), he was still struggling to reach his typical levels in the strikeout department. Even with limitations last season, Verlander reached 200 innings for the eighth consecutive year. His stock has fallen considerably in early drafts, but he's just one season removed from piling up 217 strikeouts in 218.1 innings for the Tigers in 2013. Verlander is also exploring the possibility of using a new pitch this season, but it won't be clear until the games begin to count in April if he develops an offering that will actually be a part of his arsenal going forward. While a rebound seems likely, the magnitude of that rebound is highly variable.