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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

AL Cy Young favorite leaves start with injury

Justin Verlander smiles

Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

An American League Cy Young favorite prompted some worry when he left his start Sunday with an injury.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander left Sunday’s start against the Baltimore Orioles after just three innings and 60 pitches. Verlander showed no outward signs of injury during his outing, and the Astros said he was dealing with right calf discomfort.

The good news is that this does not appear to be an issue with Verlander’s arm. His velocities were also fine, and he struck out six in three innings.

The Astros might just be taking a very cautious approach here. They are going to the playoffs, and they will need a healthy Verlander to advance deep into them. There is no use having him pitch through a physical issue in August if it might jeopardize his availability in October. That is why Houston has been careful with him all season.

The 39-year-old ace has put himself in strong position to win his third career Cy Young Award in 2022. He entered Sunday’s start with a 16-3 record and a league-best 1.87 ERA in 149 innings of work.


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