No one had any idea what to expect from Justin Verlander in 2022.
The Houston Astros ace had pitched just once in the past two years, lasting one game in the pandemic shortened 2020 season before undergoing Tommy John surgery. At 39 years old, it was fair to wonder how much he would have left to offer going forward.
As it turns out, Verlander not only had plenty left for 2022, but he put together one of the better seasons of his career. He led the majors with a 1.75 ERA and a 0.829 WHiP over his 175 innings, striking out 185 batters with 29 walks while leading the American League with 18 wins. It is not a surprise that he is a finalist for the Cy Young award.
At this point, the only question is how much longer Verlander is going to want to pitch. He has his championship, even earning his first World Series victory on the mound. As long as Verlander wants to keep going, the Astros need to keep him on board, bringing their ace back until he has determined it is time to walk away.
Justin Verlander had an impressive season in 2022. The Houston Astros cannot afford to let him head elsewhere.