¡Que Onda Magazine!

Houston's oldest bilingual publication

Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander Set to Return After Rehab Stint

Justin Verlander likely to make his season debut this weekend - ESPN

The anticipation surrounding the return of Houston Astros’ star pitcher Justin Verlander is finally coming to an end.

Verlander, who has been sidelined with shoulder inflammation since Spring Training, embarked on a rigorous journey to recovery. Over the past two weeks, he has undergone a minor league assignment, making appearances with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys and the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Though the statistical outcomes may not have reflected his illustrious career as a three-time Cy Young Award winner, Verlander managed to build up his pitch count to the mid-70s during his rehab stint, signaling a positive step forward in his recovery process.

“I feel like I’m ready to step on the mound again,” Verlander affirmed on Monday, leaving the decision of his return to the Astros’ management.

Verlander showcased his progress with a bullpen session at Minute Maid Park in the presence of Astros manager Joe Espada ahead of Tuesday’s game.

“That went really well, stuff looks good, see how he feels tomorrow and then let you guys know tomorrow which game, either game one or game two against the Nationals,” Espada commented. He emphasized the importance of assessing Verlander’s physical and mental readiness for his comeback.

The Astros’ rotation has been plagued by injuries, with five members, including Verlander, Framber Valdez, José Urquidy, Luis Garcia, and Lance McCullers, sidelined. To address the gaps, Forrest Whitley was called up from the Space Cowboys to bolster the bullpen ahead of Tuesday’s clash with the Atlanta Braves.

Blair Henley was previously summoned when Valdez experienced discomfort in his elbow, while Spencer Arrighetti filled in for games against the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves before being reassigned to the minors.