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Justin Verlander To Start Season On IL

The Houston Astros, one of baseball’s best teams since 2015, begin another season expecting to contend for a championship. Houston is coming off an ALCS defeat, losing to the Texas Rangers in seven games. The Astros will rely on their two top aces as they look to bounce back and return to the World Series. Framber Valdez and Justin Verlander are big factors in whether the Astros will compete for a title. Valdez is coming off a rocky season, and Verlander had a solid year, even with injuries. Unfortunately, for Verlander, the injuries are carrying over into 2024. 

Justin Verlander To Start Season On IL

Verlander has been battling a shoulder injury throughout Spring Training. Last year, as a member of the New York Mets, Verlander suffered a low-grade teres major strain that cost him the first month of the season. One year later, this shoulder injury will cost him time to begin the season yet again, as Astros manager Joe Espada announced that Verlander will start the year on the injured list. The hope is he gets the time to pick things up and won’t be out long. 


The Astros traded for Verlander at last year’s deadline when the Mets were selling. Houston traded prospects Ryan Clifford and Drew Gilbert to bring him back to Houston, while New York pays most of Verlander’s salary. Verlander went 7-3 for the Astros with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts. Speaking of the Mets, if Verlander pitches 14o innings this year, the Mets will pay $17.5 million of his 2025 option. 


Are Verlander’s Injuries Concerning for Houston?

While the expectation is that Verlander will be back relatively soon in the regular season, the question does have to be asked if Father Time is catching up to Verlander. He turned 41 years old in February, and he missed all of 2021 due to Tommy John surgery. He won the Cy Young in 2022 with Houston, so the Astros have to hope his 2022 form is still there. If Verlander struggles on the mound and with injuries, the Astros will need Valdez and Cristian Javier to have bounce-back years.  

Main Photo Credits: Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports


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