The Astros will announce that reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander is out for the season with an elbow injury, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Chronicle on Sunday.
The injury deals a near fatal blow to the Astros’ hopes for World Series contention in this 60-game season. Verlander is the team’s unquestioned ace, the rock around which their starting rotation is formed. He struck out 300 batters last season and posted the third-lowest WHIP in modern major league history.
Verlander threw six innings of two-run baseball during the team’s season-opening win against the Seattle Mariners on Friday. Nothing in his velocity or appearance signaled any trouble.
During a postgame interview, Verlander expressed nothing but optimism about his outing, never hinting he was hurt.
Verlander underwent groin surgery in March. He suffered a lat injury in spring training, too, but aggravated the groin injury during his rehabilitation.