Mets ace and future Hall of Fame, has not lived up to expectations
Steve Cohen will have to step up the pitching lab establishment he mentioned in his last press conference, as Justin Verlander hasn't been able to replicate the terrific 2022 season he put in with the Houston Astros. Verlander finished last season with a 1.75 ERA in what was one of the most impressive comebacks in recent MLB history.
However, this 2023 Verlander's pitcher profile has changed a lot. His pitches don't look as dominant as last year, as he suffered a decrease in his K%, an increase in his BB%, and a significant increase in his hard-hit contact allowance.
All of the above is worrisome. Verlander's fastball and curveball are the pitches with the most regression. The fastball shows a decrease in speed, and the curveball a drop in the spin rate compare to 2022.
One aspect that may be affecting Verlander's performance is his extension. Its extension has varied, and the release point of its pitches is not the same as last year, affecting the location of its pitches, especially the fastball and the curve, which tends to be more in the middle of the strike zone than other years.
Justin Verlander doesn't look like the dominant pitcher the Mets were looking to have when they signed him to replace Jacob deGrom in the rotation. The loss of time at the beginning of the year due to injury and his performance so far has been one of the points that have hurt the team the most in its quest to compete for a position in the postseason.