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Astros veteran Justin Verlander shuts down retirement rumors, aims to pitch again

MLB, Justin Verlander

Houston Astros right-hander and future MLB Hall of Famer Justin Verlander shot down speculation he was announcing his retirement Friday.

The Twittersphere went crazy after it was announced Verlander would be addressing the media Friday afternoon. Many speculated the 38-year-old–who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery–could be announcing his retirement.

However, Verlander hilariously shot down all the gossip with a single tweet, stating his intention to pitch for years to come.

The two-time American League Cy Young Award-winner elaborated on his physical condition during the press conference.

Verlander said he would love to come back and pitch this year, but the process might not allow for that kind of timeline:

“Do I want to pitch (this season)? Absolutely,” Verlander said, via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. “But there’s a lot of things that have to go perfect from now until then for that to even be a discussion.”

Even if the hard-throwing righty were to return, he said it would almost certainly be in a bullpen role for Houston.

It’s hard to envision Justin Verlander being available this season unless the Astros made a deep run in the playoffs. Such a run is not out of the question, though Houston has been prone to fits of inconsistency this season.

Regardless, Verlander’s statement he wants to pitch for a “long time” yet is quite interesting seeing as he will be a free agent at the conclusion of the 2021 MLB season. He is just one in a very interesting class of veteran pitchers that also includes Astros teammate Zack Greinke, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, and Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw.