Tigers ace Justin Verlander is 0 for 24 at the plate in his major-league career, but says he could hit "three or four" Derby home runs. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander has begun campaigning to participate in this year's Home Run Derby at Citi Field.
The former Cy Young and MVP Award winner tweeted a link to the Derby's MLB.com fan poll on Friday with the hashtag, #VoteVerlander.
Verlander, who has not recorded a major-league hit in 24 career at-bats, told reporters before Friday's game in Baltimore that he could hit "three or four" homers in the event, which will take place on Monday, July 15.
"I would find it to be highly unlikely that there would be any shot of getting anywhere close to getting enough votes." "What's the worst thing that can happen?" Verlander said. "Go up there and not hit one. So what?"
Verlander joked that he had "a little more pop" than some teammates. Alex Avila walked past and said, "Here we go."
Verlander went on to say he was "a 5 o'clock hitter" — someone who hits well during batting practice, but not in games.