Houston Astros Young Stud Lance McCullers Having Shoulder Looked At.
The Houston Astros have done everything they could to protect the health of emerging top of the rotation pitcher Lance McCullers. Following an embarrassing start versus the Rangers last year, the Astros thought that would be the perfect time to send McCullers back to Double-A to save some innings for later in the season. McCullers was effective in his start in the playoffs, but unfortunately, his start will be forever known as “two outs away from the ALCS Game 4.” According to Jose De Jesus Ortiz, McCullers will go to see a doctor after complaining of shoulder soreness.
The Astros recognize McCullers’ potential, so they are going to be cautious about his health. He could become the Roy Oswalt that we have missed for a decade, someone with the passion and ability that McCullers has. Dallas Keuchel is Keuchel, there are not too many guys like him, but McCullers could be the X-factor for the Astros for years to come. The news that broke yesterday was that McCullers will have his shoulder examined after continual soreness.
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During yesterday’s spring training game, I listened as the announcers discuss all the pitchers invited to Astros camp and two of the 32 pitchers have not appeared in a spring game. One of the pitchers was Luke Gregerson, who is recovering from an injury from the first days of camp, but he should be ready for action soon. Reports from camp are that he is looking good in bullpen sessions, but they haven’t felt comfortable putting him in game action yet.
The other is the perceived third starter in the rotation McCullers, who has battled shoulder issues since throwing a live batting practice earlier in the week. In a pre-game interview with A.J. Hinch, he mentioned that last year McCullers had not even reported to minor league camp yet, which is why they haven’t had him in live action yet. Talking Stros host Brandon DelCastillo even hinted on the show Thursday night that the Astros were going to bring McCullers on slowly, to save innings for down the stretch.
While there is nothing confirmed yet, it is too early to panic. He will get his shoulder examined and what happens will happen, it sure is a good thing that the Astros are so deep. This injury could open the door for Michael Feliz, Dan Straily, Brad Peacock, or the grizzled vet Wandy Rodriguez as the long man in the rotation. This also temporarily keeps Mike Fiers out of the bullpen, as I wrote here the other day.
The shoulder wasn’t responding as the Astros wanted, they want to be safe with their prized stallion, so they will be cautious with him whether he likes it or not. I was super pumped to see him pitch this weekend when I travel to Florida for the week, me and how many others are heading to Florida for Spring Break? I’d rather see McCullers pitching in October than March/April anyway. CTH will continue to follow the situation.
I will be fairly silent today as I drive to Florida on Twitter, but I look forward to meeting some of the readers at CTH and listeners at Talking Stros as well as the players.