HomeSportsAstros P Justin Verlander will start the 2024 season on the injured...

Astros P Justin Verlander will start the 2024 season on the injured list with shoulder issues

The Houston Astros will be without Justin Verlander for the start of the 2024 season as he heads to the injured list.

Astros manager Joe Espada said Tuesday that the 41-year-old pitcher needs more time to rebuild after a shoulder problem that delayed Verlander’s start to spring training.

“He’s doing well, but we’re running out of days and we won’t be able to build him up to start the regular season,” Espada said, via Brian McTaggert of MLB.com.

Espada noted that Verlander’s IL journey is not due to any kind of setback in his recovery.

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As the future Hall of Famer continues to prepare for the 2024 season, he threw 60 pitches during a bullpen session on Sunday.

The Astros open the season on March 28 at home against the New York Yankees. When Verlander said last month that his recovery was behind schedule, he didn’t know at the time if his availability for Opening Day would be in jeopardy as it was “too far away.”

“I don’t think my body responds the same way at age 40 as it did at age 25, so I’m a few weeks behind,” Verlander said in February. ‘Let’s see how it goes. If it’s a little late, it’s a little late. If it’s on time, it’s on time. I try not to rush.”

Verlander is in the second year of a two-year, $86.76 million deal he signed with the New York Mets in 2022. The three-time Cy Young Award winner missed the first five weeks of last season with a shoulder injury. He was re-acquired by the Astros via trade in August.

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The Mets may no longer employ Verlander, but they do have an interest in his health. As part of the trade to Houston, the Mets agreed to pay $25 million of his 2024 salary and half of his $35 million salary in 2025. Verlander has a player option for 2025, but it will only be granted if he pitches 140 innings this season, which would impose half of the Mets’ payroll next year.

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