Astros' Justin Verlander Makes Progress in Triple-A Rehab Start

Astros' Justin Verlander Makes Progress in Triple-A Rehab Start

Justin Verlander, the Houston Astros' star pitcher, reached an important milestone in his recovery journey, pitching for the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys. Starting his rehab after an onset of shoulder inflammation during Spring Training, Verlander tackled his first game against the Las Vegas Aviators with a mix of challenges and successes.

In the outing, Verlander pitched three innings and threw 65 pitches, 46 of which were strikes. His performance was a crucial test, and he managed to fulfill his primary goal of pitching a set number of pitches while maintaining his health. Despite the ups and downs of the game, where he surrendered six runs on seven hits and struck out six batters, Verlander viewed the experience as a positive step in his rehabilitation.

Verlander opened the game with a promising first inning, retiring three batters in quick succession. However, the second inning was less favorable, as he allowed six consecutive hits, including a sequence of a home run, three doubles, a triple, and a single, leading to five runs. Yet, he regained composure and retired all three batters in the third inning, demonstrating resilience and potential for improvement.

Reflecting on his performance, Verlander said, “I did accomplish goal No. 1, which is, throw 65 pitches and feel healthy. My timing was a little off, and my pitches were a little erratic, but time on the mound is the only thing that will help resolve that.” This statement underscores his realistic outlook on the rehab process and the need for continuous improvement.

Verlander's start with the Space Cowboys is a promising indication of his recovery trajectory, offering him the necessary competitive environment to fine-tune his skills and prepare for a return to major league action. As he progresses through his rehab assignment, the Astros eagerly anticipate his return to the top of their rotation.