Astros ace Justin Verlander placed on IL with calf injury

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, a leading candidate for the AL Cy Young Award, has been placed on the injured list with a right calf injury.

The team announced the move and said that an MRI done on the calf revealed fascial disruption, but no muscle fiber disruption.

Verlander said he isn’t sure of a timetable for his return but doesn’t expect to be out too long.

“I feel like I really kind of dodged a bullet here where the muscle isn’t actually involved,” Verlander said. “It’s the fascia, which I feel pretty fortunate about because I didn’t realize how serious even a very minor muscle calf injury can be. If that were to happen, we’d be having a much different conversation.”

Verlander’s stint on the injured list is retroactive. He was injured in his start Sunday while going to cover first base during a rundown in the third inning against the Orioles.

General manager James Click said they should have a better idea of how long he’ll be out in the next couple of days.

“We’ll know a lot more about the return timeline once we get the body through the first 48 to 72 hours to heal,” Click said. “But our hope and our expectation is that this should be relatively short-term.”

Verlander said he was relieved when he learned that it wasn’t a major injury because he felt a pop as he took off to run on the play. But two days later he’s already feeling better.

“It got pretty sore,” he said. “It is still sore. I’m laying off of it for a few days. Based on what all of the doctors have said … that fascia heals pretty quickly. So I’m just trying to give it its time to heal before I push it.”

The right-hander lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.84 by throwing three scoreless innings before his exit Sunday.

The 39-year-old Verlander returned this season after missing almost two seasons following Tommy John surgery. Entering Sunday’s matchup with the Orioles, he was 8-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Verlander’s 16 wins are tied with Atlanta’s Kyle Wright and Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin for most in the majors.

The injury has caused Verlander to limp a bit as he moves around the house, something that his 3-year-old daughter Genevieve has noticed. Genevieve, whose mother is Verlander’s wife and supermodel Kate Upton, has been talking to dad about boo boos after scraping her knee while riding a bike recently.

“She asked me if I have a boo-boo,” Verlander said. “And the only thing she’s having a hard time understanding is that the boo-boo’s underneath my skin … so she’s like: `It’s like my boo-boo, but on the inside.’ It’s cute and fun trying to explain it to her.”

Houston recalled right-hander Brandon Bielak from Triple-A Sugar Land and optioned outfielder Jake Meyers there. The Astros also recalled utility player J.J. Matijevic from Sugar Land and added right-hander Hunter Brown to the taxi squad from Sugar Land.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.