Justin Verlander won’t be able to come back in 2020 after all
The Houston Astros were dealt a serious blow, as the initial hope was that Verlander would be able to make a return by October. Instead, Verlander’s elbow injury will require Tommy John surgery, which can carry a timetable of up to a year. JV will aim to be ready by next summer to contribute to the Astros 2021 playoff hopes, but no single player swings the Astros playoff hopes like Verlander does. Without him, their postseason rotation relies heavily on Zack Greinke and several unproven commodities.
Verlander announced the news on his personal Instagram page. He’s 37 years old and under contract through the 2021 season.
Without Verlander, the Astros chances at repeating as American League champions are slim
Despite their championship pedigree, the Astros were already longshots to prove the doubters wrong come the 2020 postseason. In fact, the only reason they’d be in position to do so is because of the expanded playoffs. With Verlander unable to go, those odds are even greater.
Earlier this week, the Astros expected Verlander to come back strong, as he was slated to throw a simulated game in the coming weeks. Dusty Baker was confident in JV’s availability.
“Just to be back in the ballpark and on the mound without a screen, it was great having him out there,” Baker said. “We’ll assess [him] in a couple of days after we see how he comes out of this.”
Verlander left his last start of the season against the Seattle Mariners in late July with a forearm strain. He was shut down shortly thereafter. Sadly, he won’t be a part of the Astros journey towards redemption.