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Houston Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander is heading to the injured list with “right calf discomfort.”
The potential Cy Young favorite was removed from his start Sunday after just three innings, and was placed on the injured list by the Astros on Tuesday.
There’s hope that he doesn’t miss a lot of time, after an MRI revealed no “muscle fiber disruption,” according to an Astros beat writer:
This interrupts another spectacular season by Verlander in his return to full time competition for the first time since 2019.
According to Fangraphs, he’s racked up 4.8 WAR in 152 innings with an incredible 1.84 ERA and 154 strikeouts against only 26 walks.
If Verlander misses a significant amount of time, it could impact the Astros ability to lock up the American League’s best record. While they have a 4.5 game lead over the New York Yankees, that can easily evaporate with a bad week.
He’s also the second Cy Young contender to hit the injured list in just the past few days.
Los Angeles Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin was moved to the IL on Monday with a “forearm strain,” although initial reports appeared to suggest he might only miss a few starts.
Gonsolin has the lowest ERA among qualified starters in the National League and has lost only once all season, although Sandy Alcantara and Aaron Nola respectively also have excellent cases.
With the Dodgers running away with the division and best record in baseball competitions, they might be giving Gonsolin a bit of extra rest before the postseason.
Verlander’s injury seemed a bit more legitimate, and in theory he shouldn’t need much rest considering he’s missed most of the past two seasons. So his injury list stint at least at first glance, appears to be more necessary.
Both teams have essentially clinched their divisions, with the Astros up 11.5 games and the Dodgers 19.5. But in the race for individual awards, this could potentially have a significant impact.