Astros' Justin Verlander Shoots Down Retirement Rumors: Plan to Pitch for a Long Time

Adam WellsMay 7, 2021

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 19: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros pitches during an intrasquad game as they continue with Summer Workouts at Minute Maid Park on July 19, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

While the Houston Astros wait for Justin Verlander to return from elbow surgery, the two-time American League Cy Young winner addressed rumors about his future. 

Responding to speculation about retirement, Verlander tweeted that he plans to keep pitching "for a long time":

Justin Verlander @JustinVerlander

Lol…. Man y’all are crazy. I’m not retiring! 🤣🤣. I was asked to do a zoom call to give updates to the media. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Sooooo here’s the update. I’m feeling awesome and plan on still pitching for a long time.

Verlander underwent Tommy John surgery on Sept. 30 after throwing just six innings in one start last season. 

As noted in his tweet, Verlander will speak to the media on Friday for the first time during the regular season. He posted a video on Twitter in March showing him throwing a baseball for the first time since his surgery. 

The Astros haven't put a timetable on Verlander's return, though general manager James Click told MLB Network Radio in December there's some hope that he might be able to pitch out of the bullpen late this season. 

Per Jonah Birenbaum of The Score, Verlander is one of 11 pitchers who has undergone Tommy John surgery at the age of 37 or older. Bronson Arroyo most recently did it in July 2014, but it took him nearly three years to get back to the big leagues. 

Verlander is in the final season of a two-year, $66 million contract he signed with Houston in March 2019. The eight-time All-Star won the Cy Young award in 2019 after posting a 2.58 ERA with 300 strikeouts in 223 innings over 34 starts.