Justin Verlander believes he can hit. I believe he can't.
He has belief on his side. I have history.
Verlander pitches in the American League (and pitches very well), so he doesn't get many chances to hit. But every time he does get one, he helps prove my point.
He has 24 career at-bats. He has zero hits. And 14 strikeouts.
Add in the World Series, and it's 27 at-bats with 15 strikeouts. And still zero hits.
And yet, every year, Verlander promises he's going to get a hit. And not just one. And not just a single.
I saw Verlander at Fenway Park last year, just before the Tigers were headed for a series in Cincinnati. Verlander was scheduled to pitch, and he told one of his fellow Tiger starters that he was thrilled about it.
The other pitcher, knowing Great American Ball Park's reputation as a bandbox, didn't understand.
"I might go deep there," Verlander quickly explained.
He didn't go deep. He lined out to first base, and bunted in his other plate appearance.
Anyway, Verlander still believes he can hit, so I wasn't surprised to see this tweet from him on Friday:
Yes, Verlander is asking you to vote him into the Home Run Derby. Tongue in cheek? I'm sure it is, but I'm equally sure he'd love to do it.
I'm equally sure he believes he'd hit a few into the seats (as he has done in batting practice).
I still don't think Justin Verlander can hit. He still thinks he can.