Houston Astros playoff roster: Lance McCullers Jr
Biggest Positive: Postseason Experience
Biggest Negative: Endurance
It can’t be overstated how much Lance McCullers Jr.’s forearm injury hurt the Astros chances at winning their second World Series title in five years. Their rotation was the weakest point of the team and the fact they even got past the Boston Red Sox with how much their starting rotation imploded is a testament to what a great job the bullpen did handling the extended workload.
Similar to Framber Valdez this season McCullers Jr. put it all together last year finishing seventh in Cy Young voting, his first time receiving votes in the category.
He continued that into the postseason though ever so briefly due to his forearm injury, giving up one earned run in 10.2 innings alongside nine hits and three walks against nine strikeouts.
McCullers Jr. has been involved in big moments for the Astros including his famous 2017 ALCS game seven performance where he threw 24 straight breaking balls to the New York Yankees as part of his four inning save that sent the Astros to just their second World Series appearance ever.
The only thing to worry about is his endurance considering his late start to the year, but given that he went seven innings against the Los Angeles Angels in his most recent start surpassing the 100 pitch mark for the first time this year he should be fine come October.
It’s still worth monitoring how he handles the extra adrenaline and energy it takes pitching in the postseason considering he’ll have only made nine starts but perhaps that late start to the year will mean he’s rested and in mid-season form just in time for the playoffs.