This hip issue has seemingly been bothering VerHagen all year. He first landed on the IL in April, with his injury being referred to as a “hip impingement.” He returned in May but landed on the IL again in June due to a shoulder impingement. He returned in July but was quickly put back on the shelf, this time with a hip impingement again. It seems that whatever rehab attempts were made didn’t succeed, with VerHagen having to now go under the knife.
The 31-year-old spent six seasons with the Tigers from 2014 to 2019, never really finding his footing, putting up a 5.11 ERA in that time. However, he had a nice breakout in Japan, pitching for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2020 and 2021. During that time, he threw 207 2/3 innings, registering a 3.51 ERA. Given that he’s always had ground ball tendencies, he seemed to be a good fit with the elite Cardinals defense. As such, the Redbirds signed him to a two-year deal worth $5.5MM, the first MLB contract signed after the lengthy lockout.
Unfortunately, the return to the majors hasn’t gone as planned so far, likely due to the lingering injuries. VerHagen has a 6.65 ERA on the year, logging 21 2/3 frames between IL stints. He’ll be on the shelf for the remainder of his campaign but hopefully recuperated in time for the second year of his contract. Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat relays word from manager Oli Marmol, who says that the club expects VerHagen to be ready for Spring Training.