Justin Verlander: Pitchers Are Valuable

  • Monday, November 21, 2011 7:04 AM
  • Written By: Dodgers Diaries

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The argument against pitchers winning the MVP is that they can't be the team's most valuable player because they only play every five days. The response to that claim, as echoed by the Baseball Writers Association's decision today to name Justin Verlander as 2011 AL MVP, is hogwash.

Do the old "where would they be without him?" equation for all the various candidates, and Verlander is the obvious choice. Jacoby Ellsbury, who finished second, was a nice piece of a puzzle that still fell one game short of beating the Rays out for the final playoff spot. Curtis Granderson had some nice stats, but he was helped by hitting in front of Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and a short left-field porch in Yankee Stadium. The Blue Jays could have finished 81-81 with or without Jose Bautista.

Verlander, meanwhile, threw 7 or more innings without allowing an earned run eight times (including a no-no and a plain-old shutout). On nine more occasions, the Tigers' ace went 7 or more innings while allowing just one earned run.

That’s a total of 17 times where Detroit was pretty much guaranteed a win if they managed to score two runs. The Tigers won their division by 15 games. You do the math.

-- JOHN ROSENTHAL