Sunday Insider: Central Intelligence

  • June 10, 2012 - 8:31 AM

The great Justin Verlander was 24-5 last season but entered the weekend on pace to go 15-12, an example of how hard it is to sustain dominance.

He entered his start Saturday having lost his previous three starts and, while two of those outings weren't too shabby, he's not getting as much run support as everyone thought he would.

In 1996, John Smoltz -- who was drafted by the Tigers -- won 24 games for the Braves, then went 15-12 the next season.

"There's a lot of luck that goes into baseball," Smoltz said. "I argued that my year after the 24-win season was a better year than when I won 24."

Verlander is 5-4 with a 2.67 ERA. From 2009 through 2011 he was 61-23.

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So much for manager compensation. The White Sox last week outrighted infielder Ozzie Martinez, one of two players they received from Miami as compensation when Ozzie Gullien went to manage the Marlins. He was batting .179 in 41 games at Class AAA Charlotte.

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Matt LaPorta is getting his next last chance to prove he can produce regularly. The Indians called him up last week from Class AAA Columbus, but he went 2-for-11 in his first three games. LaPorta, if you remember, was the key piece in the trade that sent CC Sabathia to Milwaukee in 2008.

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