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Detroit Tigers Links: Justin Verlander's Hall of Fame chances are in doubt

Verlander is not exactly the pitcher he once was, and his performances are putting a once-inevitable trip to Cooperstown in doubt.

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I remember sitting down to a Tigers game in 2013 and discussing with my roommate how we might be watching as many as six future Hall of Famers on the team. We wagered Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and Torii Hunter were locks while Victor Martinez, Max Scherzer and Prince Fielder all had outside shots.

Well, clearly a lot has changed. Injuries have probably robbed Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez of necessary time and production. Of more interest, though, is Justin Verlander. Sporting News took a look at his credentials and necessary future output. Things are not as they once were. Their estimate on his chances: just 30 percent.

Verlander already has some strong credentials: an AL Rookie of the Year Award, Cy Young Award, AL MVP Award, and postseason success. However, mediocre production since 2013 has considerably hurt his chances.

I'm not sure I agree with their use of 70 WAR as the prevailing benchmark. We all know that most Hall of Fame voters are analytics averse. Verlander has the hardware that Hall of Fame voters reward, and there are many Hall of Famers who haven't reached that 70-win benchmark. However, when you begin to dig into the other stats, you see that it will be an uphill climb for Verlander.

The most glaring gap for Verlander is wins. He needs 112 wins to reach the average number of wins for a pitcher in Cooperstown. That's... that's a lot. Beyond that, the voters will look at career numbers, ERA, WHIP, etc. With Verlander's best days behind him and already robbed of a half season in 2015, he will need to maintain a high level of production. Most importantly, he needs to stay healthy. The past year has illustrated that both of these things will probably be difficult to do.

His chances will be buoyed by his awards and moments. But he is a long way from that naive lock that I afforded him back in 2013.

Eugenio Suarez is raking.

Eugenio Suarez is off to a torrid start to the season. Trading an upside infielder for the corpse of Alfredo Simon probably has to be Dave Dombrowski's worst trade. [Ed.: Doug Fister beat the Brewers in his first start with the Astros, allowing three runs in five innings while striking out six.]

Home Runs are way up and no one has any idea why

And no it's not just Trevor Story. FiveThirtyEight takes an extended look at all the possible reasons that balls are exiting the park at a high rate. It turns out the change started in 2015.

This has nothing to do with baseball, YET.

Awesome article by the Wall Street Journal on the Swedish artist that has raised the bar on hockey helmet designs. The question proposed at the end is will baseball ever adopt the practice. Thoughts?

Same face different place

Sure, Cole Hamels was traded last year, but Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal looks at how the trade could pay even more dividends. And Starlin Castro, who was considered expendable by the Cubsis off to a hot start in pinstripes.