Houston Astros announce multiple roster moves, latest on Justin Verlander

Hunter Brown has been added to the Taxi Squad. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

The Houston Astros announced on Tuesday that Justin Verlander will be heading to the 15-day IL, and Brandon Bielak will be joining the big league club from AAA. The other notable move for the pitching staff is top prospect Hunter Brown joining the Taxi Squad.

According to the Astros, Verlander's calf showed fascial disruption, but no muscle fiber disruption.

Astros general manager James Click seems to think this is good news.

Verlander spoke about the injury.

More moves coming

Brian McTaggart also reported on Monday evening that AAA prospect Yainer Diaz will be joining the Astros, but it looks like September will have to officially begin before that move is made. In the meantime, J.J. Matijevic will join the Astros with Jake Meyers going back to Sugar Land.

Meyers just hasn't been able to produce after returning this year after shoulder surgery following the 2021 season.

One big question

The next big question to be answered involves Cristian Javier's role with Verlander heading to the IL. Will he go back to the rotation, or stay in the bullpen with Hunter Brown starting? Our guess would be Javier returns to the rotation, with Brown getting bullpen work in while pitching for the Space Cowboys as of late. But, we'll have to wait to get confirmation.

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The Houston Astros managed to win the AL West once again, and while things got a little nerve wracking toward the end of the season, when it mattered most, the 'Stros took care of business.

It certainly didn't hurt to get a little help from the Mariners, beating the Rangers 1-0 on Sunday, paving the way for the Astros to secure the division. Rangers fans and members of their broadcast team were none too pleased with the Diamondbacks resting some of their starters on Sunday.

But let's be real, with the division on the line, the Rangers couldn't even manage to score a single run on Sunday against Seattle. That's why they're playing in the Wild Card series, not because of how Arizona approached Sunday's game.

So what did we learn during these must-win games over the last week? A lot was made of GM Dana Brown's comments on the team's flagship station. Brown was hoping manager Dusty Baker would put the best offensive lineup on the field. Yainer Diaz did not start a single game of the Diamondbacks series. But Chas McCormick played every game of the Mariners and Diamondbacks series, except for the finale against Seattle, after being hit in the back with a fastball the night before.

Michael Brantley played in two of three against Arizona, so he appears to be an option Dusty will turn to moving forward. And with the Astros only scoring 1 and 2 runs in two of the three wins against the D-Backs, the Astros need every bit of offense they can get.

Plus, we discuss how getting extra rest for Michael Brantley, Jose Abreu, and the bullpen could pay huge dividends for the club. And don't look now, but Jose Abreu is getting hot at just the right time!

Be sure to watch the video above for the full discussion.

And be sure to watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Monday on SportMapHouston's YouTube channel.

Listen to ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM for Houston's best sports talk.

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