Yikes: Justin Verlander Has to Get Tommy John Surgery

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Yikes: Justin Verlander Has to Get Tommy John Surgery

Chicago Cubs

The late-career revival of Justin Verlander with the Astros may be one of the most memorable and impressive bounce backs for a pitcher in the history of baseball – certainly that I can remember. After falling off the grid a bit and being traded mid-way through the 2017 season, Verlander was an All-Star and Cy Young runner up in 2018, before winning the award in 2019.

That’s why the Astros extended him at a lofty $33M/year for two years back in March of 2019. Unfortunately, after surgery on his right groin earlier this year and a set back with a forearm strain in late July, Verlander has made just one start for the Astros this season. And it just got worse. A lot worse.

In a video on his personal Instagram account, Justin Verlander revealed that he now needs Tommy John Surgery:

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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.

A post shared by Justin Verlander (@justinverlander) on

Verlander apparently felt something in his elbow during his latest simulated game and after consulting with doctors, learned that Tommy John surgery is the best option. Here’s the full statement:

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.

In the short term, that’s a HUGE blow for the Astros, who are currently the sixth seed for the 2020 postseason (second place in the AL West). In the medium term, you have to remember how late in the year we are. At his age, surgery now likely squashes any hope of Verlander pitching in 2021. And that brings me to my final point: the long term … What a meteoric fall for the Astros.

Aside from the enormous sign-stealing scandal, the Astros lost Gerrit Cole forever, lost Justin Verlander for 2 seasons, and are about to lose George Springer to free agency. Meanwhile, Zack Greinke is 36 years old and Jose Altuve is slashing .218/.287/.314 (70 wRC+) through 39 games this season. Talk about going from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the scrap heap.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami