Houston Astros Starter Shut Down In Recovery Setback

The Houston Astros were planning on getting one of their better starting pitchers back by the All-Star Break, but those plans seem to have gone up in smoke, or pushed-back at least, as Lance McCullers Jr. has recently been shut down from mound-work once again.

Manager Dusty Baker explained the mound shut-down during McCullers' recovery process from an offseason injury: “We have to take it slow with Lance until we know that he’s 100 percent. That’s where it is right now.”

The 29-year-old suffered a muscle strain in his forearm several months ago, and had finally progressed to bullpen sessions only a couple of weeks back. That, however, has ceased, and he's back to flat-ground throwing. There's no word on what the setback was specifically.

But it's the latest in a string of lengthy injury issues for McCullers, who only pitched eight games last season after a flexor strain suffered during the 2021 playoffs kept him out until August of 2022. 

He missed the entire 2019 due to Tommy John surgery. 

For his career, McCullers is 49-32 for the Astros, with a 3.48 ERA. His best season was 2021 when he went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA and finished 7th in Cy Young voting.

Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports