Justin Verlander Announces He Needs Tommy John Surgery
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander announced significant news on his Instagram page Saturday morning. The news was regarding a major surgery that has been recommended for the 37-year old right-hander. Brian McTaggert, who covers the Astros for MLB.com, reported it first on his Twitter account.
Justin Verlander announces on Instagram he needs Tommy John surgery. He said he felt something in his arm during his simulated game the other day.
“We’ve determined Tommy John surgery is my best option," he said.
More to come
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) September 19, 2020
Verlander made one start at the beginning of this season going six innings against the Seattle Mariners while allowing two runs and recording seven strikeouts. Shortly after that start, he was placed on the injured list with a right forearm strain. As recently as last week, Verlander was starting to throw bullpen sessions and looked poised to make a return sometime soon.
However, with this news, that is totally out of the question now and it’s fair to say that he will likely miss the entire 2021 regular season. For the Houston Astros, this is devastating news especially considering that they were expecting to have Verlander for the postseason.
More on Justin Verlander’s Contract and Age
Prior to the start of 2019, Justin Verlander inked a two-year, $66 million dollar contract extension with the Astros. It was definitely a risk at the time given his age. Additionally, due to the fact that players become more vulernable to injuries like this as they get older. However, Houston made a wise decision based on how Verlander had performed during his tenure with the club.
After the Astros acquired him in July of 2017, he made 34 starts during 2018 and 2019. In 2019 he led all of baseball in innings pitched with 223 total. When you combine his numbers together from the last half of 2017 through 2019, it’s impressive. Over that span, he recorded a 2.45 ERA over 471 innings pitched or 73 starts.
Even before he became a member of the Astros, Verlander had built himself a future Hall of Fame resume with the Detroit Tigers. He spent 13 seasons in the Motor City posting a 3.49 ERA over 2,511 innings of work. His official MLB debut happened on July 4th, 2005 at the age of 22 years old.
Furthermore, this past offseason Verlander stated he wanted to keep pitching another eight to 10 years. That would take him well into his mid-to-late 40’s. However, given this news, those plans may have already changed.
It would be a real shame if this is how Verlander’s stellar major league career ended. He has certainly done enough to make a legitimate case for the Hall of Fame and will be enshrined one day. For now, Verlander as well as the Astros have to hope for a successful surgery and recovery period.
Main Image: Embed from Getty Images