Luis Garcia to Undergo Tommy John Surgery

San Francisco Giants v Houston Astros
San Francisco Giants v Houston Astros / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Luis Garcia will miss the rest of the season and will be forced to undergo Tommy John surgery.

A nightmare scenario for an Astros pitching staff already short on depth has come to fruition. Houston's number three starter, Luis Garcia, is out for the rest of 2023 and will likely be out into July of 2024.

Garcia left Monday night's game with "right elbow discomfort" after only eight pitches. The Astros broke the news today that the elbow pain would require reconstruction of his UCL, more commonly known as Tommy John.

This is a crushing blow to Houston's hopes of a repeat. Garcia shoved in the World Baseball Classic, and while he scuffled a bit to start the season, had strung together 13 consecutive scoreless innings. His scoreless outings had come at the expense of two of baseball's best lineups in Toronto and Tampa Bay.

Houston won a World Series last year on the backs of a dominant bullpen. Part of what made their bullpen so dominant last season was a fresh bullpen in October. No bullpen in the MLB had less innings than Houston.

Only eight pitchers started games for the Astros last season. Hunter Brown only started two games late in the season in what amounted to a big-league tryout that earned him a spot on the playoff roster. Before Brown was called up, Houston had navigated the season with only seven different starters.

When J.P. France makes his big league debut tomorrow, he will be Houston's seventh starter of the season on only May 6th. Houston isn't as durable as they were last season. They still don't have Lance McCullers Jr. and José Urquidy is also on IL.

Brandon Bielak and France will need to provide big innings in weathering the storm until McCullers and Urquidy return. With no Garcia until midway through next season, Houston may also look to target a starting pitcher on the market.