Did the Astros rush back Justin Verlander from injury due to disastrous April start?

One has to wonder.
Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander
Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander / Logan Riely/GettyImages

The Houston Astros lost another game on Tuesday night. This time, it was Astros' ace Justin Verlander who took the loss. Verlander made it just five innings before being removed from the game. The former Cy Young Award winner allowed seven runs on eight hits while walking three batters and only striking out two.

It was only Verlander's first loss of the season, but it's the second consecutive game in which the right-hander posted more walks than strikeouts. Verlander's previous outing against the Cleveland Guardians saw him walk three and strikeout two, but he only allowed two runs through seven innings.

Verlander threw 96 pitches on Tuesday and 96 against the Guardians last week. Before that, Veralander logged 97 pitches in a game against the Chicago Cubs. While Verlander's stamina may not be an issue, his effectiveness is. Did the Astros rush Verlander back before he was ready?

Did the Astros rush back Justin Verlander from injury due to disastrous April start?

Make no mistake, this isn't to infer that the Astros rushed Verlander back to the big leagues before he was healthy. That's rather reckless and something that the Astros, nor Verlander, are likely to do. But the Astros' frontline starter missed almost all of spring training.

While his four rehab starts in the minor leagues this spring would seem to be enough of a tuneup, perhaps his lack of preparation during spring training has been the reason for his slow start in what is his age-41 season.

The Astros may have been desperate to get Verlander back sooner rather than later due to the team's horrific start and debilitated rotation. Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, JP France, Lance McCullers Jr., and Luis Garcia have all spent time, or are currently on the injured list. Spencer Arrighetti and Hunter Brown are the only Astros starters who've not hit the IL this season, and that's not necessarily encouraging for the Houston fanbase.

Verlander spoke to the media after the game and said that he needs to be more deceptive with his pitches while also suggesting he's been unable to establish his pitches. The Astros need Verlander to get those issues fixed before his next start, which is likely to come this weekend against his old club, the Detroit Tigers.

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