On the "Brad Ausmus Show" prior to Tuesday's game, Dan Dickerson spoke with the Tigers manager about Justin Verlander's recent struggles. Ausmus indicated that there may be reason to hope Verlander will be able to right the ship.
Justin, Jeff Jones, and I actually talked about it at length today and looked at video, and I think the ball has been up in the zone, but I think he's right in the sense that something's causing it, you know. He's been good for too long to suddenly not be able to put the ball generally close to where he wants to. So, we did look at some video, and we saw, actually — we looked at some video from a couple years ago and last night, and compared and contrasted, and found some things that we think can make a difference. So I think he feels a lot better about the fact that he can fix this, and he's probably started — it wouldn't shock me if he already went outside and started on it.
Dickerson clarified further that Ausmus was talking about pitching mechanics, and Ausmus confirmed, "Yes, yeah, exactly, mechanical things, physical things that are — you could clearly see a difference between the two, from 2011 and 2014."
On the subject of whether Verlander's offseason injury, core muscle repair surgery, and shortened recovery time might be contributing to his pitching problems, Ausmus conceded, "It could, yeah. When you have an injury, sometimes you don't even realize it, but ... your body just adjusts and it alters your mechanics ... I certainly think that's a possibility, but I don't know if that's an actual fact."
When asked about Verlander's secondary pitches and the fact that he's not inducing as many swings and misses, Ausmus restated, "This isn't something that should change like that overnight, where suddenly he's not getting the swings and misses on those pitches, so, again, it goes back to those mechanics, something being different, and we think we found something that might help him get back to where he was in getting those swings and misses."