Even though the Houston Astros failed to come home with a championship last season, pitcher Justin Verlander still has some new hardware to add to his mantle.
The 36-year-old pitcher, who shares a 1-year-old daughter with supermodel wife Kate Upton, took home the American League Cy Young Award, beating out his teammate, Gerrit Cole, in a vote conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America at the end of the regular season. New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom was awarded the Cy Young Award for the National League.
”The adversity I went through puts a new perspective on everything,” Verlander said after receiving the honor, referencing a shoulder injury in 2014 that put his career in jeopardy, according to ESPN. ”I mean, still would’ve liked to have won a couple of them.”
He earned his first Cy Young Award in 2011 as a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, the team spent the majority of his career with, and has been a runner-up for the honor three times since then.
Verlander and deGrom are now only the 20th and 21st pitchers to win the Cy Young multiple times, according to Yahoo Sports.
Though the Astros lost to the Washington Nationals in the 2019 World Series, Verlander enjoyed a tremendous regular season that saw him through a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 1, the third no-hit of his career, the outlet added.
Verlander said he is using new techniques this offseason to improve his fastball.
”I will always try to push the boundaries of what I can do,” he said. ”If my body says, ‘Hold on, you can’t do that anymore,’ then I’ll pull back.”
In an interview with PEOPLE earlier this year, Verlander said he’d like to play in the major leagues for another decade. This would see him walk away from baseball in his mid to late 40s, which is similar to the career trajectory of legendary quarterback Tom Brady.
“I think throughout my time in the game I’ve learned a lot about how I can regimen my body to be in the best shape possible. I connect with Tom Brady on that mentality of wanting to play until I’m 45,” Verlander told PEOPLE.
“I think we play two very different sports so my workout regimen is different than his, but the same mentality, right? Take care of your body the best you can to perform at what you need to perform at,” he added. “Then just go about that business and find the best way to be at the top of my game.”
The announcement comes just as the Astros came under fire for allegedly using prohibited technology to get an upper hand in their 2017 championship season.
In a bombshell report by The Athletic on Tuesday, former Astros player Mike Fiers claimed the team used a hidden video feed to observe opponents’ pitching signs.
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He claimed they used a camera that was mounted in center-field, and team members would watch the video from a hidden monitor near the team’s bench. If they believed they had interpreted the signal, he alleged that they would communicate it to their hitter by making a loud noise, such as banging on a garbage can.
In a statement obtained by ESPN, the Astros said they have begun an investigation with the MLB into the allegations.
“Regarding the story posted by The Athletic earlier today, the Houston Astros organization has begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball,” the statement read. “It would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter at this time.