Houston Astros: Extra precautions have been taken with Justin Verlander

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker and pitcher Justin Verlander (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker and pitcher Justin Verlander (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander will not make his Spring Training debut and has been scratched. Extra precautions have been taken so let’s examine.

The Houston Astros were able to go 1-1 today in some split-squad action between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets.  The final decision was a 4-2 win over the Mets and a 7-5 loss over the Cards.

Houston Astros reliever Austin Pruitt, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason, pitched three solid innings in his start, allowing just one hit and no earned runs.  Michael Brantley was 2-for-2 with one RBI and Oscar Salazar, a 7th-round pick from the 2018 Draft, had the lone homer for the club, going 1-for-1 in the pinch.

In the Cards’ game, rising star Jose Urquidy had one punchout, two earned runs and hits with one walk through 1.1 innings pitched.  Top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley struggled, allowing three earned, two hits, one strikeout and one walk.

Myles Straw continued his rambunctious streak by going 2-for-3 along with three ribbies.

Just based on what transpired within these games, it certainly appears our pitching staff has some rust to knock off, to which I’m sure that will be done as time progresses through this month and the next.

But speaking of available staff, we know that Justin Verlander will not be making his debut in the Grapefruit League tomorrow evening against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Verlander is experiencing discomfort in his groin and will throw a simulated game instead to which MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart is reporting is an indication that the injury is not as bad is it

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It’s apparent that Dusty Baker is taking extra precautions in ensuring that he’s not throwing Verlander out there when he’s not ready to go, possibly aggravating his injury.

Cristian Javier, who has been in the Houston Astros’ organization since 2015, will get the start in place of the reigning AL Cy Young Award Winner.

I’m all for this move because he’s one of the most important pieces this team has, even at the ripe age of 36-years-old.

Verlander typically isn’t a guy that’s on the shelf a lot so I expect this injury to be a minor setback and he’ll get back out there to strut his amazing stuff once he’s 100 percent in terms of feel.

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I know this is a bummer for those Houston Astros fans in West Palm Beach that were looking forward to seeing Verlander out on the mound tomorrow night but this decision is definitely for the better and I’m positive they understand that.

Until then, get well soon J.V.!