Astros Roundup: McCullers’ Injury, Reed and Hoyt Up
The Houston Astros have been relatively healthy all season until recently.
Luis Valbuena and Luke Gregerson are currently on the disabled list. Marwin Gonzalez and Carlos Gomez have been limited recently, but Gomez returned last night and Gonzalez due to return tonight. The Astros starting rotation has remained healthy all season, except Lance McCullers‘ early season stint on with shoulder issues.
When McCullers returned, the starting rotation stabilized into one of the best in American League. Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Mike Fiers, and Doug Fister have had some shaky outings recently. McCullers recent outings have led most of us to think that he is the Astros, ace pitcher. Before last night’s start, McCullers was 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings.
McCullers exited last night’s game after two outs in the fifth inning. When he got the second out of the inning, the infielders ran to the pitcher’s mound while motioning for medical help from the bench. There was no discussion when A.J. Hinch and the medical team got to the mound. He immediately went into the dugout.
After the game, Hinch said via Angel Verdejo, “I didn’t ask a lot of questions. I just said, ‘You’re done for the night.'”
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It was reported later by Verdejo that McCullers left the game because of elbow discomfort in his right elbow. As you could tell, Hinch was not playing around because the issue was with the elbow. I know many of us are concerned that it could lead to Tommy John surgery, let’s just hope that the doctors don’t find anything major wrong. McCullers is the Astros best starting pitcher at the moment, an injury to him would hurt the Astros chances in 2016.
Thankfully, the Astros have a deep farm system, which was on full display with the MLB debut of Joseph Musgrove. Musgrove was added to the roster when Scott Feldman was traded to the Blue Jays. Yesterday, the Astros recalled A.J. Reed to replace Gregerson on the roster, who was unavailable Monday night. Gregerson went to the DL with an oblique injury, which could linger. James Hoyt will be called up today and Fister will be added to the paternity list, which could be as long as three games.
Reed has swung the bat well since he was sent back down, as he hit .436 with four homers in 39 at-bats as seen in Verdejo’s Tweet above. On this past edition of Talking Stros, Jeremy Booth of Program 15 said that he felt that Reed was ready this time. This may not seem like a big deal, but he has spent the past six weeks telling us that Reed is not ready. They rushed Reed up the first time, but he has regained his swing and should be ready to stay.
Reed did go hitless, but so did many Astros hitters last night. With McCullers possibly needing to go on the DL, the Astros could bring up another pitcher. However, that pitcher will have to return to the minors when Fister is ready to return Saturday. My first thought was to bring up Brady Rodgers, but he is not on the 40-man roster.
Next: Astros: Decision to Hold at the Deadline, Good or Bad?
Hoyt could be here to stay, with Gregerson possibly requiring an extended stay on the DL. The Astros decided to stand pat at the trade deadline, so their acquisitions are Musgrove, Hoyt, Reed, and soon to be Yulieski Gourriel, who is working his way up the minor leagues. This team can still make a playoff run, but they need to become more consistent offensively.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***