Astros' Justin Verlander scratched vs. Tigers with neck issue

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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander was scratched from Saturday's start against the Detroit Tigers because of neck discomfort.

"He's been actually dealing with this for like the last two weeks, trying to pitch through it," manager Joe Espada said. "And we just felt like it's smart if we could just take a break here, skip a start and try to get to the bottom of it."

Said Verlander: "When I was out there, I felt like it wasn't really bothering me. But when I go home and sit down and really think about it, I think it's too much of a coincidence and my mechanics were really thrown off."

The Astros are hopeful that the 41-year-old right-hander won't need to go on the injured list. He is listed as day to day.

"Missing a start, it's not something you want to have happen," Verlander added. "But honestly, day to day is a good thing ... and you've got to trust the trainers, trust everybody you're talking to, and I think the prognosis is pretty good. So I can't put a rating on it, but I feel OK about it."

Verlander said he cut his bullpen session short Wednesday because of the problem but had hoped that he would feel good enough to start Saturday.

"It wasn't worse. It just kind of like flared up a little bit on me," he said. "And after a couple of my games, it's been a little stiff and then I've been able to work through it and throw and get all the stuff I needed to get done. But during the bullpen, it flared up on me a little bit and I just kind of pulled the chute and tried not to be stupid about it and push it like I normally would."

The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 3-2 with a 3.95 ERA in 10 starts this season.

Spencer Arrighetti, who was scheduled to start Sunday, will start Saturday in place of Verlander. Espada said the Astros haven't decided who will start in the series finale in Arrighetti's place.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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