Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander has thrown 100+ pitches in 40 straight starts


Justin Verlander shut down the Twins last night, holding Minnesota to one run in eight innings while improving to 13-5 with a 2.24 ERA.

He also threw 126 pitches, which would be a noteworthy workload for just about anyone but Verlander, as he’s thrown at least 125 pitches five times this season and has yet to throw fewer than 100 pitches in a start this season.

In fact, as Brandon Warne of Fan Graphs points out Verlander has now thrown at least 100 pitches in 40 consecutive starts dating back to the middle of last season.

Pitch count data is only available going back a couple decades, but Verlander’s streak of 40 straight 100-pitch outings is the most of any pitcher during that time. Via the always amazing Baseball-Reference.com Play Index here’s the leaderboard for consecutive 100-pitch starts since 1988:

JUSTIN VERLANDER         2010-2011     40
Randy Johnson            1998-1999     38
Randy Johnson            1992-1993     37
Felix Hernandez          2009-2010     32
Randy Johnson            1999-2000     30
Carlos Zambrano          2005-2006     30

At the risk of taking attention away from Verlander’s remarkable feat: Randy Johnson was ridiculous.

Last time Verlander failed to throw at least 100 pitches was June 22 of last season, when the Mets chased him from the game after two innings. And before that he’d gone 12 straight starts with 100-plus pitches, so Verlander has now thrown at least 100 pitches in 52 of his last 53 outings, during which time he’s 31-14 with a 2.73 ERA and 372 strikeouts in 379 innings.

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski is reportedly trying to trade Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez
AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Nick Cafardo provides this interesting nugget in his Sunday notes column at the Boston Globe

Hanley Ramirez, 1B-DH, Red Sox — There’s now talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal. The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.

Cafardo notes that “there are huge hurdles to cross” before a trade could happen — like how much of Hanley’s remaining salary the Red Sox would have to eat and what positions the soon-to-be 32-year-old is able to play defensively at this point in his career.

Boston’s higher-ups have asked Ramirez to learn first base and drop 20 pounds this winter. Whatever team is looking to acquire him would probably have to be comfortable with him serving primarily as a designated hitter.

Hanley is owed $68.2 million over the next three seasons and he carries a $22 million vesting option for 2019. He batted just .249/.291/.426 in 105 games this past year.

Ben Zobrist is the “Mets’ No. 1 target”

Ben Zobrist
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Ben Zobrist posted a cool .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 126 games this summer between Oakland and Kansas City while appearing defensively at second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions.

His steady bat and defensive versatility make him a fit for just about every club in Major League Baseball, and the defending National League champions are among the teams in hot pursuit …

It’s a little odd to see the rebuilding Braves listed there given that Zobrist is 34 years old, but Rosenthal says the interest stems from a “desire for him to serve as [a] model for younger players” as the club prepares to open a new ballpark in 2017. Wasn’t that supposed to be Nick Markakis‘ job?

Zobrist and his agent Alan Nero are believed to be seeking a four-year deal.

Tigers agree to deal with starter Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Hey, the hot stove is finally generating some real fire …

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. It’s a five-year deal worth around $110 million, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

This should have a domino effect on a loaded starting pitching market. David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija are just a few of the names still out there.

Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 164/39 K/BB ratio in 201 2/3 innings this past season for the Nationals. He had a 2.66 ERA in 2014 and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.

Zimmermann’s free agency is tied to draft pick compensation because he rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Washington, but the Tigers finished with one of the 10-worst win-loss records in 2015 so their first-round pick in 2016 is protected. Detroit will give up its second-round pick instead.

Video: Statcast’s 10 longest home runs from 2015

Giancarlo Stanton
AP Photo/Joe Skipper

Here’s a pretty good way to finally break out of that turkey-induced Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.

It’s a compilation of the 10 longest home runs from the 2015 season, with MLB.com’s Statcast technology providing data along the path of each blast …