Back in late July, the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome reported that Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander would be out for the remainder of the season. Not only did the team push back against that report but Verlander himself took to Twitter to deny that he was shut down for the rest of 2020.
The report that I’m currently missing the rest of the season is not accurate. There is a forearm strain… I’m hopeful that with some rest it will heal and I’ll be able to return soon. Thank you for all the well wishes. 🙏🏻
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) July 26, 2020
Whether that was misdirection or just a misunderstanding of the injury is unclear. What is clear now is that Rome’s report was correct as Verlander announced on his Instagram account that his season is over and he’ll get Tommy John surgery.
Justin Verlander says he needs Tommy John surgery: https://t.co/cYyvA6jPuY
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 19, 2020
Justin Verlander announces via his IG page that he will be undergoing Tommy John surgery. Not sure why he didn’t just do it back in July. He might have been able to catch 2nd half of the 2021 season. pic.twitter.com/yc3FtUBPXM
— Wolfs Den Sports MLB (@WDS_MLB) September 19, 2020
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 is coming off his second AL Cy Young Award in a 2019 season in which he made the most starts (34) and pitched the most innings (223) of anyone in the league. He was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA before his season was shut down on July 24.
There had been a few predictions from medical experts that we’d see a rash of Tommy John surgery candidates in this rushed and truncated Major League Baseball season. Verlander is the highest-profile pitcher to land in that category so far.
It is indeed a tough blow for the Astros as they look to get back to the World Series for the 2nd time in four years and try to move beyond their cheating scandal. The team is currently one game under .500 and is on the fringe of the playoff hunt as it is.