Chatting with the Houston Astros: Lance McCullers

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Part 2 – How Do You Feel About the Ken Giles Trade?

Jul 12, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) looks on in the dugout during the third inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

CTH/TSR: Lance, dad question related to your clubhouse experiences, what’s your fondest memory and who was your favorite player growing up that wasn’t your dad?

McCullers: Actually, my dad broke into the league really young, I think he was 21, he played 7-8 years, but he had to retire because medically, he had a lot of arm issues. When players had the injuries back then, it wasn’t as easy a fix as it is now. The technology now would have helped him a ton, but he couldn’t pitch. I didn’t get to go to a lot of clubhouses as a kid, but when I was growing up, my dad was with the Yankees, I did get to go into the dugout and on the field a lot. I always pulled for Derek Jeter.

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CTH/TSR: With the nickname Batman, other pitchers claim that name, but what are your thoughts about the Batman vs. Superman movie coming up?

McCullers: I’m looking forward to it, I was skeptical of Ben Affleck in the Batman role, I think he will do a good job, I saw the trailer, it was pretty good. The new trailer throws in Superwoman as well; I’m waiting to see what that’s all about. Pretty excited.

CTH/TSR: You are on my fantasy baseball team, I am keeping you as one of my ten keepers. Give me your sales pitch on why I should keep you?

McCullers: I don’t know a whole lot about fantasy, I think you get points for strikeouts, I get a fair amount of those. I’m really going to work hard to go deep into games, and I am a Houston Astro.

CTH/TSR: I can’t let you go without asking this question. What were your thoughts about the recent trade and how close were you to Vincent Velasquez? It’s part of the business, what are your thoughts of seeing your buddies go?

McCullers: I’ve actually seen many guys leave in my time with the Astros. Rio Ruiz is a really good friend of mine, he’s going to be at my wedding, he got traded to the Braves. Then Brett Phillips got traded to the Brewers; he’s in my grooms party. Then you have Velasquez and Mark Appel, who both will also be in my wedding. It’s part of the game man, the best way for me to understand it is that these guys are getting great opportunities with other teams. They are extremely talented dudes; they will make an impact.

You have to be excited about what the Astros are doing, putting an emphasis on trying to build a team, little by little, to make that next jump carry out the next steps towards the World Series. We get a great pitcher from the couple innings that I have watched him pitch and the highlights I have seen. I’m really excited.

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CTH/TSR: Quick Trivia to see how much you know your dad. How do your rookie stats compare to those of your dad? We will tell you how many you got right at the end?

Who pitched in the most games their rookie season?

McCullers: My dad was a reliever, he got called up early, no he got called up in August, I’m going to go with my dad.

CTH/TSR: Who had the lowest ERA?

McCullers: I’m going to ride with mine.

CTH/TSR: Who had the lowest WHIP?

McCullers: I had the lower WHIP because he walked a lot of guys.

CTH/TSR: The most strikeouts per nine innings.

McCullers: I’m going with me again. Did I get them all wrong?

CTH/TSR: Games (LMJ 22/LM 21), ERA (LMJ 3.22/LM 2.31), WHIP (LMJ 1.186, LM 1.114), K/9 (LMJ 9.2, LM 6.9).

McCullers: Hey, for anyone listening out there, it’s all about the strikeouts. I’ll take it; it’s all about the K’s.

Thanks to Lance McCullers for joining us. If you listen to the show, you will be able to hear what Talking Stros producers told Lance to do. He said that he will send us to Minute Maid Park with Media credentials, he wants McCullers to give us a hard time.

Next: Are the Houston Astros the Most-Improved AL West Team?

You can follow Lance at @LMcCullers43 and @TalkingStros for shows every Monday’s. Don’t forget to follow @astrosCTH.