Justin Verlander injury: Mets ace to IL with shoulder strain

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Justin Verlander injury Mets
New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws to Miami Marlins’ Jacob Amaya during the third inning of a spring training baseball game, Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Just hours before the first pitch of the 2023 season on Thursday, the New York Mets announced that ace Justin Verlander will head to the injured list after suffering a low-grade strain of the teres major on the right shoulder.

The 40-year-old right-hander, who was signed to a two-year, $86.6 million deal this winter, did say that this was a minimal injury and he shouldn’t miss much time. He will be re-scanned in a week while continuing to throw at a moderate intensity.

“Looking back it’s something that was lingering. But it’s spring training and it’s very normal to have to work through stuff,” Verlander said. “I thought it was something I was working through… In my bullpen yesterday, I still felt a teeny bit of something.”

What indicated that something more concerning was afoot was a drop in velocity.

“That was the main thing,” Verlander continued. “I’ve dealt with a lat before a couple times in my career. It’s not something to mess around with.”

Justin Verlander Mets
New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) warms up before a spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The Mets will turn to Tylor Megill to take Verlander’s spot in the rotation while he is out — putting the righty in line to get the ball in the Mets’ home opener next week at Citi Field on Thursday.

“This is probably the best news,” Showalter said on the degree of the injury. “It’s something we should be able to resolve… We have a guy coming up excited for the opportunity. It’s one of those things that good clubs are able to do.”

Verlander is coming off a brilliant season with the Houston Astros, winning a World Series and the AL Cy Young Award, going 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA. He became the Mets’ prime target when Jacob deGrom walked in free agency to join the Texas Rangers.

“It feels like crap. Not the way I wanted my Mets tenure to start, that’s for sure,” Verlander said. “I put in a ton of work to not have things like this happen. We are athletes. Unfortunately, when you’re working at a high level of intensity, stuff like this does come along.

“I’m just very thankful that it’s as minor as it is. That doesn’t subtract from the way I feel… I just want to be out there.”

For more on Justin Verlander and the Mets, visit AMNY.com