The New York Mets, who are pouring a huge amount into the market with one determination to win the World Series, did not just pass by the 2022-2023 free agent (FA) market. To reinforce the selection, Justin Verlander (40) was signed.
The contract process with Jacob deGrom (Texas) was unusual, and when deGrom wanted a long-term contract of more than three years, the Mets tried to turn to Plan B. It was clear that they needed a quality pitcher to win. Verlander was an appropriate card for such a Mets. He is old, but the performance he showed last year was very good. He was a player everyone could admire.
Verlander, who underwent elbow ligament reconstruction surgery (Tommy John surgery) in 2020, skipped the entire year of 2021 and returned last year. His return season was very good. Despite the burdensome elbow surgery he underwent in his late 30s, he pitched 175 innings in 28 games and went 18-4 with a 1.75 earned run average, winning the Cy Young Award for the third time in his personal career.
The Mets were confident, giving Verlander a two-year, $86.6 million guarantee. His average annual amount was tied with Max Scherzer for the same team as first in major league pitching history. If Verlander pitches 140 or more innings in 2024, he has an option for $35 million in 2025.
However, Verlander’s early start to the season is not good. He missed the opening roster due to a muscle injury in his right arm before the season, and after his return, his performance is also questionable.
Verlander is 2-2 with a 4.80 ERA over 30 innings in the first five games of the season. He’s not fit for the highest paid pitcher of all time. From 2018 to last year, Verlander’s on-base per inning (WHIP) never rose above 1.00. However, this year, this figure has risen to 1.10, and the batting average is 0.237, higher than last year (.186).
Above all, the number of home runs per 9 innings has more than doubled (0.62 → 1.50) compared to last year, and is struggling. Hitting a home run in a situation where there is a runner has increased the number of cases of irreparable damage.메이저사이트
Although it is still a result of 5 games, it is also uneasy that the velocity has decreased and that the batted ball speed management is failing. Compared to last year, both average exit velocity and hard hit rate increased. Verlander’s average batting speed is just in the bottom 30% of the major leagues, and his strikeout rate is in the bottom 21%. Considering the previous Verlanders, the first five matches are obviously strange. Last year, he was in the top 35% in batting speed and in the top 20% in strikeout rate.
Verlander needs to find stability so the Mets can keep their rotation strong. The Mets recruited Verlander not only in the regular season, but also in the postseason as an ace. With the current pitch, it is not easy to expect an active performance in the postseason where strong players face each other. Attention is focusing on whether the 40-year-old veteran can skillfully raise the pace.