Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander tossed just one game this season, making a start on July 24. The right-hander has been out ever since with an injury, and unfortunately, it looks like he'll be out much longer.
Verlander announced via Instagram on Saturday that he'll undergo Tommy John surgery. He said he felt something in his arm during a simulated game the other day and determined surgery was the best for his career moving forward.
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After consulting with several of the best doctors, it has become clear that I need Tommy John surgery. I was hopeful that I would be able to return to competition in 2020, however, during my simulated game unfortunately the injury worsened. Obviously I’m extremely disappointed, but I will not let this slow down my aspirations for my career. I will approach this rehab the only way I know, attack and don’t look back. I’m confident that with a proper rehabilitation program and my unwavering commitment that this surgery will ultimately lengthen my career as opposed to shorten it. I can’t thank my teammates, coaches, the front office and my fans enough for the support they have given me so far in this process. I’m eager to get through this recovery and back on the field to continue to do what I love.
Verlander won his second American League Cy Young award in 2019 after leading the league with 21 wins against six losses. He also made the most starts (34), pitched the most innings (223) and had the lowest WHIP (.803).
In his one start this season, he recorded seven strikeouts.
Tommy John surgery typically takes a year or more to recover from. We've already seen other talented pitchers have the elbow surgery this season, including Chris Sale, Yonny Chirinos, Tommy Kahnle and Luis Severino.
With Verlander out, the Astros have relied on Zack Greinke, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jose Urquidy on the mound this season. That hasn't necessarily worked out for them, as the team sits second in the AL West with a 25-26 record, one game below .500.