Shaun Marcum ruled out through the All-Star break

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The last time we checked in on Shaun Marcum, he was still experiencing some soreness in his throwing elbow while playing catch. Things haven’t improved over the past few days.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this afternoon that Marcum will be sidelined through the All-Star break. The 30-year-old right-hander has been playing catch on a daily basis to gauge his progress, but the team simply hasn’t seen enough improvement in his symptoms.

“Threw again today; still felt it,” Roenicke said. “A little better, but still felt it. I don’t think he’ll make a start before the all-star break. I don’t think there’s any way we can do that.

“But hopefully we get him to where he’s confident that he can go out there and throw the ball and not feel anything. That’s where we’re trying to get to.”

Marcum previously underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2008 and missed the entire 2009 season, but two MRIs have ruled out any new damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. For now, the Brewers will just have to hope that the soreness subsides with rest.

Marcum, who is due to become a free agent this winter, has a 3.39 ERA and 77/26 K/BB ratio in 82 1/3 innings across 13 starts this season. Marco Estrada and rookie Michael Fiers will continue to get starts during his absence.

Report: Astros extend Justin Verlander for two years, $66 million

Justin Verlander
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The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”

While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.

The deal has not been confirmed by the team.