Astros won’t rule Justin Verlander out for season
Justin Verlander is going to miss a significant amount of time after suffering an arm injury, but the Houston Astros are not confirming reports that the reigning Cy Young Award winner will not pitch again this season.
Following Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Mariners, Astros manager Dusty Baker described Verlander’s injury as a forearm strain and said the right-hander will be shut down for a couple of weeks. Doctors will re-evaluate Verlander after that time.
Dusty Baker on Verlander: "A forearm strain. He'll be shut down for a couple of weeks, then we'll see from there." Says he doesn't know if it will be for the whole season yet. #ForTheH
— SportsTalk 790 (@SportsTalk790) July 26, 2020
Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported on Sunday that Verlander will miss the remainder of the year with an elbow injury. A forearm strain sounds a lot less alarming than an elbow injury, but it’s possible the Astros are intentionally being vague.
Verlander pitched in Houston’s opener on Friday night and showed no signs of being hurt. He threw six innings, struck out seven, and allowed just three hits — two of which were solo home runs. There was no mention of an injury immediately after the game, but Baker says Verlander told the team his arm felt “tender.”
Justin Verlander had an MRI yesterday, Dusty Baker said. He told the team his arm was "tender" during Friday's start.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) July 26, 2020
Verlander had some injury issues during spring training, but all indications were that he was fully healthy entering the year. The 37-year-old has been a workhorse throughout his career and made 34 starts for the Astros in both 2018 and 2019. He posted a 2.58 ERA and a 0.803 WHIP last season and struck out 300 batters in 223 innings.
Zack Greinke will step into the No. 1 spot in Houston’s rotation with Verlander out, but it remains to be seen if that will be a permanent change for 2020.