The Astros are loaded with talent in the lineup, the rotation and even the bullpen, but there is one equalizer: injuries. During their run of success of the last few years, the Astros have managed to avoid big, season-long injuries with the exception of Lance McCullers, Jr. There were problematic issues for Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa, but nothing that resembled a serious, season-altering loss.
That doesn't appear to be the case this time either, but when Justin Verlander left his second start on Sunday after two innings with tricep soreness in his throwing arm, it brought back memories of 2015, when he missed the first two months of the season with an injury to his right tricep.
The Astros are, as expected, running numerous tests on their ace right hander, but there have got to be a few people holding their breath in the team's spring training clubhouse. Verlandedr is the lynchpin in the Astros starting rotation. After losing Gerrit Cole to free agency, this is a team that has real talent in the starting lineup, but not tremendous depth.
We are still a couple weeks away from opening day, so no need to panic, but fans would certainly be excused if they said a prayer, lit a candle or conjured up some voodoo to help heal Verlander's arm. We'll know something in a couple days. Keep your fingers crossed.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.