Just when everyone was starting to write him off — or, at the very least, write him off until he made some adjustments — Justin Verlander came out this afternoon and posted his best start since 2013, tossing eight innings of one-run ball and striking out 10 in the Tigers 2-1 win against the Rays.
He needed to be that good, though, given that Chris Archer nearly matched him. Indeed, Archer retired the first 19 batters he faced before allowing a Jose Iglesias infield single. A fielder’s choice and a couple of singles later and the Tigers had their two. Which would stand for the game.
Apart from allowing a homer to Asdrubal Cabrera, Verlander was masterful. It was his first double-digit strikeout game with no walks for since Sept. 24, 2010. It was his first double-digit strikeout game period since September 2013. More importantly, he was changing speeds, using his breaking ball as an out pitch when, just a couple of weeks ago, he seemed overly-reliant on his heat.
This was Verlander’s second straight eight inning, one-run start, the last being on Friday against Boston.
Seems Verlander is finally coming around.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.