Astros’ Verlander sidelined by back injury
Verlander said it would “probably take a miracle” for him to pitch in the Astros’ opener against the Los Angeles Angels on March 26. But he quickly added: “I don’t want to leave miracles off the table.”
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner was hurt on his second-to-last pitch in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Mets. He had an MRI on Monday and was diagnosed with a strained latissimus dorsi muscle. There is no timetable for his return.
“Talking with doctors and looking at the scans, it’s definitely not worst-case scenario,” Verlander said, “Best-case scenario would be nothing. It’s just probably somewhere in the middle of that.”
The 37-year-old right-hander’s velocity was down from his previous start, and he was removed after two scoreless innings of what had been scheduled as a four-inning outing.
“Hardly noticed it to be honest,” Verlander said of the injury-inducing pitch. “It didn’t quite feel right, just felt maybe I was a little off mechanically or something — kind of one of those spring things. Then in between innings it started to tighten up a bit.”
Elsewhere around the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues:
PHILLIES 3, YANKEES 1
Phillies ace Aaron Nola was scratched and sent home with what manager Joe Girardi said was the flu. He remains on track to start on opening day.
Tampa Bay left-hander Blake Snell got just one out in his return to the mound after experiencing elbow soreness in his spring debut. He walked four and was charged with four runs, but he said afterward his arm felt great.
Ryan O’Hearn, Kevin Gutierrez and Kyle Isbel went deep for Kansas City.
METS 1, MARLINS 1
New York outfielder Michael Conforto sat out again after tweaking his side recently while making a catch. Newsday reported he had an MRI and was sent back to New York to meet with the team’s medical director, Dr. David Altchek, for further evaluation.
Mets reliever Seth Lugo worked a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout in his first spring appearance after being sidelined with a broken pinkie toe.
INDIANS (SS) 11, ANGELS 10
Franmil Reyes homered twice for a Cleveland split squad, belting a three-run drive in the third inning and a solo shot in the fifth. Yu Chang also connected, and Logan Allen allowed two earned runs and two hits in two innings in his second spring start.
Atlanta right-hander Félix Hernández struck out six while working five innings of one-run ball. The 33-year-old Hernández allowed six hits and walked two.
Ryan Weber tossed four scoreless innings for Boston. José Peraza had two hits.
White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease permitted three runs and walked three in three innings.
Chris Bassitt pitched three innings for Oakland, and Sean Murphy hit a two-run homer. Bassitt struck out three and walked three.
Nick Ciuffo singled off Jordan Weems with one out in the eighth for Texas’ only hit.
Rangers right-hander Jonathan Hernández was charged with an unearned run and one hit in two innings.
INDIANS (SS) 11, GIANTS 7
Trevor Oaks worked three scoreless innings for the Giants, giving up two hits and striking out three.
Chris Taylor, Terrance Gore, Edwin Ríos and Anthony García each drove in three runs for Los Angeles. Alex Wood struck out four in 3 1/3 innings, and Tony Gonsolin worked 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
ASTROS 2, TIGERS 1
Carlos Correa singled and doubled for Houston. Austin Pruitt closed with three scoreless innings, striking out three.
Tarik Skubal, a lefty prospect for Detroit, permitted one run and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Austin Dean helped his chances for making St. Louis’ opening-day roster, hitting a solo homer and a double. Kwang-Hyun Kim struck out four in three innings, and Daniel Ponce de Leon pitched five innings of two-hit ball in relief.
BLUE JAYS (SS) 3, PIRATES 1
Toronto left-hander Anthony Kay struck out four in three scoreless innings. Kay was selected by the New York Mets in the first round of the 2016 draft and traded to the Blue Jays in the Marcus Stroman deal.
- Chicago White Sox
- Cincinnati Reds
- Cleveland Indians
- Houston Astros
- Kansas City Royals
- Los Angeles Angels
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- New York Mets
- New York Yankees
- San Diego Padres
- Toronto Blue Jays