Astros’ Justin Verlander: Not Impossible to Be Ready for MLB Opening Day Amid Injury

Astros’ Justin Verlander: Not Impossible to Be Ready for MLB Opening Day Amid Injury
Andrew PetersFebruary 22, 2024

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros warms up prior to Game Six of the American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Bob Levey/Getty Images

After a shoulder injury put him behind schedule in spring training, Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander believes he could be ready to go for Opening Day, though it will be tough.

“Verlander threw for the third time down here on Wednesday after a shoulder setback last month, and while he looked and felt fine, he admits to being behind schedule,” the New York Post’s Jon Heyman wrote. “Opening Day is in peril again. ‘Not impossible,’ he said, ‘but it’s going to be tight.'”

Verlander made 11 appearances for the Astros last season after a midseason trade from the New York Mets, posting a 3.31 ERA and notching 63 strikeouts in 68 innings.

While Verlander had a decent year between his time with the Mets and the Astros, his numbers were down from 2022, when he posted a league-best 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 28 starts to help lead Houston to a World Series and win his third Cy Young Award.

Verlander posted a 2.95 ERA in last year’s playoffs, though the Astros fell to the eventual-champion Texas Rangers in the ALCS.

Now, the 41-year-old is looking to get healthy ahead of Opening Day and have a repeat of his 2022 season.

The pitching great has already had a storied career, but he’s looking for another World Series with the Astros this year.

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