Originally Posted by blandman
You CAN'T compare the two is the problem. Comparing Sale to Verlander to make your case...you might as well take a hitter and compare him to Verlander and make the same case. It makes absolutely no sense.
Chris Sale is FRAIL. I cannot make the letters large enough to indicate how FRAIL he is. He is 6'6'' and only 180 pounds. His BMI would say he is starving to death. (before you pick on this, that's a joke. BMI doesn't tell people they're starving).
On top of that, he has a motion that puts tremendous strain on his elbow, and evidence last year showed that on a few occassions already.
Verlander is shorter than Sale and weighs more. A lot more. Like a small person more. On top of that: HE HAS ABOUT THE MOST FLAWLESS PITCHING MECHANICS IN THE GAME. I can't speak on whether they were different his first year...but who cares? Did Sale do the same this offseason and learn to throw differently with pinpoint control, command, and no loss of speed? Comparing Sale to whatever you think Verlander used to be makes no sense because what Verlander is today is so far removed from that it has no basis in a rational argument.
Verlander is a once in a generation talent. It's foolish to compare anyone to him for any reason, unless it's another one of the all time greats.
Now...Max Scherzer does have a violent motion. Not as bad as Sale's, which puts significantly more stress on his elbow (Scherzer's follow through makes it look worse than it actually is). But Scherzer is shorter than even Verlander, and still outweighs Sale by 40 freakin' pounds.
Skinny and frail are not the same thing. Take a look at the UFC and tell me if all the skinny guys at the top of their divisions are "frail."
There is no such thing as "flawless pitching mechanics." It is a myth. There are violent deliveries and less violent deliveries. Verlander's is violent. It puts a lot of stress on his elbow, just like Sale's does. Whether Sale's ligaments will hold up like Verlander's remains to be seen, but I made the initial comparison because of the early speculation that Verlander would get hurt whiplashing the way he does, the eerily similar first seasons he and Sale had, and the fact that he has stayed healthy (despite early fears that he wouldn't).
To a separate point, I agree Verlander is probably the best pitcher in baseball, but he's not a once in a generation talent. I'm not completely convinced that King Felix isn't as good as him right now.