HOUSTON — Astros ace Justin Verlander is being shut down for a "couple of weeks" with a forearm strain, according to manager Dusty Baker. He'll be re-evaluated after the resting period. Earlier reports said Verlander was out for the season with an elbow injury, but Baker did not say that after the game.
Verlander, the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the American League, started the Astros' first game of the season. He pitched 6 innings and threw 73 pitches. He exited the game with a 7-2 lead and earned his 226th career victory.
Baker said the injury happened during Friday's game but noted Verlander didn't complain about it and said he wanted to keep pitching. During the game, Verlander told Baker his arm was "a little tender." That's when Baker decided to pull him.
In a tweet after Houston's game on Sunday, Verlander refuted the initial reports that he would be missing the rest of the season. He said he's hopeful that rest will help the strain heal and he'll be able to return soon.
Verlander was slated to start Wednesday against the Dodgers. Baker did not say who would take his place in the rotation.
Verlander is under contract with the Astros through the 2021 season. He's then scheduled to hit the free-agent market.
He's 43-15 in a Houston uniform and has also won seven playoff games.