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Astros’ Justin Verlander to undergo Tommy John surgery

The Astros’ ace finishes 2020 with just one start.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Photo by Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Astros ace Justin Verlander announced Saturday that he’ll undergo Tommy John surgery, officially bringing an end to his 2020 season and putting his 2021 season in major doubt.

Verlander, a likely future Hall of Famer who has a 3.33 career ERA and a 1.13 WHIP over 16 seasons between Houston and Detroit, finishes this season with just one start. He earned the win in that July 24 appearance against Seattle, giving up two earned runs on three hits and a walk over six innings. He had been on the road to recovery after spending most of the season on the injured list with a forearm strain, but he said in Saturday’s statement that he felt something in his elbow during a recent simulated game and had to shut it down.

While Verlander vowed to pitch again in Saturday’s announcement, it’ll surely be a tough road back for the eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner. With the timing of this surgery, it’s likely that he’ll miss the entire 2021 season. That’ll take him through the end of his Astros contract, so barring an extension he’ll be a free agent looking to find a job heading into his age-39 season. He obviously has the resume to earn himself a job somewhere, even if it’s not Houston, but it’ll be a complicated process.