Astros’ Verlander leaves start early, to undergo tests

Field Level Media

March 08, 2020 at 8:31 pm.

Houston Astros starter Justin Verlander left his spring training outing early Sunday and was set to undergo tests on his right tricep, the team announced.

Verlander, who had been expected to pitch four innings against the host New York Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., exited after two innings.

“He just had some tricep soreness, so we took him out for precaution and we’ll send him to get some tests done,” Astros manager Dusty Baker told media members after the game.

Baker said he didn’t detect anything wrong by watching Verlander throw, only by what the right-hander said after returning to the dugout following the second inning. The manager added the pitcher’s velocity had been “down a tick” from his first spring start on Tuesday.

“I said well, we gotta take care of the big horse,” Baker said. “Like I said, we’ll send him for precaution and observation. Hopefully it’s nothing.”

Verlander, 37, allowed three hits and struck out one in his second spring start. He had been dealing with groin tightness earlier in spring training.

The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner has been extremely durable, pitching at least 200 innings in 12 of the last 13 seasons and making 30 or more starts in 13 of his 14 full major league seasons. He has a career mark of 225-129 with a 3.33 ERA.