Verlander deserves it

Jeff Schuler

Morning Call

The award isn't for most outstanding player, or player of the year. It's for the most valuable player, and last time I checked, pitchers were players too.

Justin Verlander is on the verge of winning pitching's version of the Triple Crown, leading the American League in wins (by five), in strikeouts (by 20) and in ERA. Sixteen of his 24 wins have come after Detroit losses.

The argument is that pitchers have their own award. But the Cy Young Award goes to the outstanding pticher, not the most valuable.

A player's value is supposed to be taken into account by MVP voters. This year, American League voters shouldn't have to look any further than Verlander to find their man.

Stats support pitchers

Steve Gould

Baltimore Sun

The Most Valuable Player should go to the person who is just that, regardless of position. That's not an opinion, it's written on the ballot.

If a pitcher made a bigger contribution to his team than any other player, he is inherently the MVP. Some might argue that a player who takes the field every five days can't be more valuable than one who plays every day, but statistics don't bear that out.

Wins above replacement, a stat that encompasses all facets of the game to measure how many victories a player contributed to his team over a minor leaguer or bench player, is applicable to both pitchers and position players.

Who's neck-and-neck with Jose Bautista in the AL, according to Justin Verlander.

Position players only

Ben Bolch

Los Angeles Times

Given the discrepancy in the potential impact of a position player and a pitcher, it would take something phenomenal — a 25-win season or sub-1.00 earned-run average — for a starting pitcher to merit strong consideration for the Most Valuable Player award.