Astros reveal Justin Verlander activation date despite 2 awful rehab outings

Houston is finally starting to get healthy after a tough start to the 2024 season.
New York Yankees v Houston Astros
New York Yankees v Houston Astros / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The start of the 2024 season has not gone according to plan for the Houston Astros. Between some truly rotten injury luck and a tough schedule, the Astros find themselves with a 6-13 record and questions throughout the roster as to who is going to step up to get the team back on track.

One of the bigger blows that the Astros have had to deal with in 2024 was Justin Verlander being out as a shoulder issue forced him to start his spring training ramp up late, landing him on the injured list. While Verlander's rehab starts haven't exactly inspired the most confidence, the hope was that Verlander would return soon and help get the rotation in order.

Well, Astros fans don't have to wait much longer as Verlander will be activated from the IL on Friday, according to a report from Chandler Rome.

Astros News: Justin Verlander to be activated from the IL on Friday

The overriding question now is what will Verlander look like once he takes the mound in the big leagues this season. His track record as one of the best pitchers of this generation is unimpeachable, but he has been getting knocked around down in the minors and the guy is 41 years old and coming off an injury. Expecting prime Verlander in 2024 seems like a big ask, but Houston just needs him to be a steady source of innings and quality starts for now while Houston tries to figure out their bullpen troubles.

As for the corresponding roster move, that is where things get tricky, and the Astros will likely wait to make that decision until after their game with the Braves on Wednesday. In all likelihood, one of Spencer Arrighetti or Hunter Brown is going to lose their current spot in the rotation given how well Ronel Blanco has been pitching.

That said, one interesting idea is to move Brown to the bullpen where his stuff could play up and then shuffle an underperforming bullpen arm back to the minors, of which there are several viable choices. Odds are that Arrighetti just gets sent back down to continue his development, but there are multiple paths Houston could take and it may come down to who has the freshest arm on the Astros' pitching staff.

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