Astros calling up prospect Lance McCullers for MLB debut

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Earlier this week the Astros promoted 21-year-old pitching prospect Lance McCullers from Double-A to Triple-A, but now he’s making a slight detour: Houston will call up McCullers for his MLB debut Monday against the A’s.

The move was made because Brett Oberholtzer has a blister problem, so it’s unclear whether the Astros are considering keeping the 2012 first-round pick in the majors for more than a spot start.

McCullers struggled with his control last season on the way to posting a 5.47 ERA at high Single-A, but he racked up 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings to match electric raw stuff. This season at Double-A he was nearly unhittable, throwing 29 innings with a 0.62 ERA and 43/11 K/BB ratio.

Houston is a contending ahead of schedule and with McCullers and soon No. 1 prospect Carlos Correa on the way to the majors the talent level will rise even higher.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”