MLB Week

May 07, 2006

A scout's take

On Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers 23-year-old right-hander

Pitching -- "He's probably the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in the big leagues right now. His fastball is 94 to 100 mph with ride-life up in the strike zone. He does throw a fair amount of straight ones. He has a hard curveball 79 to 81 mph and a changeup 80 to 82 mph. His stuff is electric."

Comparison -- "If you want to make a comparison, Daniel Cabrera [of the Orioles] on Cabrera's best day with his velocity. Their breaking balls are different, though. Cabrera has that slurvy curve. [Verlander's] isn't that hard, power-type of breaking ball, but he is consistent in the zone. He uses his change against left-handers."

Weaknesses -- "He is still crude, still a rookie. When he gets hit it's because he is not locating that electric fastball. And if he doesn't command his curveball, hitters can sit on that fastball and the guys with the better bat speed like a [Miguel] Tejada or a [Melvin] Mora can normally get a good swing on it. When he is commanding his stuff, he is as good as anyone."

Note: "A scout's take" features the opinions of one major league scout on a particular player each week. A revolving roundtable of scouts is used. Because of potential tampering, the scouts will remain anonymous.

Say what?

"My theory ... is that they were going to hold on to this team and use it as a bargaining chip. ... But they did what is best for the game, which generally the owners don't do."

Washington Nationals reliever Joey Eischen on Major League Baseball's decision to select an owner Wednesday instead of after the season.

Numbing number

8.8

That's the number of times Florida Marlins hitters have struck out per game this season (through 24 games). The club record is 7.35 set in 2000, so the young Marlins have a chance to make history.

What's up?

Tigers roar into town

The surprising Tigers make their lone appearance at Camden Yards for a three-game series starting Tuesday. The Orioles then get three games with the American League's worst club, the Kansas City Royals.

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