Astros Injury Update: Lance McCullers Jr. will soon pitch off a mound
The Astros’ provided injury updates from the weekend, including ones regarding 60-day players Lance McCullers Jr. and Taylor Jones.
Prior to Sunday’s contest with the Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros‘ general manager James Click shed light on Lance McCullers Jr.’s rehab progressions on SportsTalk 790’s pregame show. The right-hander continues to “ramp up the intensity of the throwing … distance, velocity and frequently.”
"“Sometime in the next few weeks, he will get off the mound for the first time,” Click said."
McCullers hasn’t pitched in a game since Game 4 of the American League Division Series in Chicago. The righty continues to travel with the team, throwing pregame in the outfield, according to multiple reports.
On Saturday, Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle reported Taylor Jones resumed hitting. The first baseman sits on the 60-day with lower-back discomfort, surfacing during spring training and delaying his start to the regular season.
According to FanGraphs, Jones is on his final year of minor-league options, while no other infielder on the 26-man roster can be optioned. Triple-A Sugar Land will likely house Jones upon his return from an inevitable rehab assignment — the Space Cowboys sit on their catchers for first base depth behind J.J. Matijevic.
During Sunday’s game with the Tigers, Aledmys Diaz left in the seventh inning without a report of injury. The grand-slam hero didn’t disclose an injury postgame with reporters, but Lerner reported it was “precautionary to make sure he’s available for the upcoming trip.”
If Diaz’s ailment is injured list worthy, the Astros have two 40-man rostered infielders — Matijevic in Triple-A and Joe Perez in Double-A. Perez was placed on the 7-day injured list Wednesday, retroactive to May 3.
While struggling to get off to a hot start — .556 OPS in 51 at-bats — for Corpus Christi, the Astros have called up Perez twice to start the year. The regular third baseman started innings in right field, prior to being placed on the shelf.
The Astros’ seven-game homestand sweep marks 35 years since the team’s last and their first at Minute Maid Park. With an off day Monday, Houston returns to play at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins. Carlos Correa (finger) playing the first game of the series is not “realistic,” Betsy Helfand of the Pioneer Press reported.