Nevertheless, there had to be a proving period once he joined the Tigers.

I remember in 2010, I hadn’t had a complete game since 2008, Shields said. I told him in spring training that I wanted to finish games off. He believed in me. He believed in the process and allowed me to go out there. At the end of the day, you’ve Cheap Bike Jerseys got to have the trust of your manager and you’ve got to have that mentality and work ethic.

As for Verlander, his potential was always clear. He was the second pick of the 2004 draft, and the team that didn’t draft him — San Diego — would surely like a do-over. It didn’t even take him a full minor league season for him to reach Detroit. His career numbers in the minors: 11-2 in 22 starts, a 1.42 ERA and 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

There had to be a time when his manager, Jim Leyland, would realize that Verlander was a pitcher who deserved a long leash.

[Leyland] always told me, especially early on, Verlander said. When I was younger and throwing 100, who am I going to bring in behind you that I think is better than that? Who am I going to bring in that has better stuff? That’s what his process was. If we needed a big out late in a game, he would let me go get that out. That’s also when I had my best stuff, typically.

These are trends that have been in place for decades and have accelerated in recent seasons. They show no sign of abating.

To have a guy be able to prove that now? Verlander said. I don’t know. I Cheap Custom Baseball Jerseys think it’s going be tough. That’s why it’s kind of a dying breed.

The postseason innings leaderboard is mostly dominated by wild-card-era hurlers, as you would expect. Verlander’s total is tied for a modest 15th place. In 2014, the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner set the single-season record with 52⅔ postseason innings thrown while leading San Francisco to a title.

Some (Pujols, Ichiro) already have the resumes. Some (Trout) are no-brainers. What about Altuve and Judge? And could MLB’s new two-way star get there?

On Opening Day, Justin Verlander showed why he’s the top dog in a rotation full of aces as Houston reminded us all just how loaded the champs are.

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