After a tumultuous off-season and beginning to Spring Training that has seen the Astros deal with the fallout from a cheating scandal that has rocked baseball, a new problem has popped up for Dusty Baker’s team.
Justin Verlander was forced to leave his second Spring Training start of the year early after experiencing soreness in his right triceps, sounding alarm bells for the defending American League Champions.
Verlander, the winner of the 2018 AL Cy Young Award and the runner-up for last year’s trophy, left after pitching two innings against the Mets, allowing three hits and striking out one.
Manager Dusty Baker announced after the game that Verlander left before his scheduled four innings due to a sore right triceps muscle, a problem that could be problematic for the righty starter.
Further tests will be performed on Verlander to determine the extent and nature of the injury. Particular attention will be paid to the pitcher’s elbow ligaments, as triceps injuries are sometimes related to a more serious problem with this crucial part of a pitcher’s arm.
At this point, all the Astros can do is wait to see what the tests show and hope for the best. If the news is bad, however, the team’s rotation will be severely weakened heading into 2020.