Justin Verlander will be on the mound tonight against the Miami Marlins for his third start in an Astros uniform in 2023. Adding Verlander back into the mix of this Houston Astros rotation is incredible because he’s a multiple time Cy Young winner, MVP, ROTY, 3,000 strikeouts, I mean the list can go on forever. However, adding Justin Verlander back to the Astros is bigger than you think for a multitude of reasons.
The Houston Astros starting pitching rotation has been ravaged by injuries this season. While Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier have stayed relatively healthy, they’ve had to carry the weight of the rotation on their shoulders. They’ve pitched a lot of innings over the last few years, and without JV at the helm of the rotation this season, the workload got even tougher.
Not to mention that Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. have missed basically the entire season, and José Urquidy missed a large chunk of the season and is just now getting back into action. While Hunter Brown is a rookie, and J.P. France has come out of no where, the rotation needed a shot in the arm. Badly.
In 2017 when the Houston Astros acquired Verlander, it was adding a top of the line ace to a team that had World Series hopes, and it turned them into contenders. In 2023, the Astros were World Series contenders before the trade deadline. Adding Justin Verlander back to the Astros this time around potentially turned the team into World Series favorites on the American League side.
Clearly this trade was amazing due to the fact that the Astros are essentially only paying $39 million of his gargantuan contract, and they add a hometown favorite back into the rotation. The best part is that now the starting pitching rotation has turned back into a six man rotation in order to get the other guys some rest.
J.P. France and Hunter Brown are rookies, so they’ve never experienced a full 162 game grind with the Astros just yet. The Verlander trade gives them some much needed rest with the ability to skip a start, here or there, or even move to the bullpen for a period of time.
Javier and Framber get the ability to push a start by a day or so sometimes as well with the six man rotation to earn some rest before the playoff push begins. I’ll say it again, adding Justin Verlander back to the Astros is bigger than you think.