Lance McCullers could need elbow surgery

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Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Monday that Lance McCullers could need surgery on his right elbow.

McCullers pitched fantastically when healthy last season, but on August 4 he suffered what was then termed a “forearm strain” and hit the disabled list, missing the rest of August and most of September. When he returned he was limited to bullpen duty and told the press he was “working through some things.”

Luhnow now admits that those “things” are in his elbow, not his forearm, and that could mean surgery that will cost him his entire 2019 season.

In 2018 McCullers tossed a career-high 128.1 innings in 22 starts and three relief appearances. His strikeout rate held steady at ten for every nine innings pitched and he allowed fewer hits per nine, which offset a slight uptick in his walk rate. The development of his changeup this season complemented his signature curve quite well, and looked to elevate him from good to great.

Unfortunately, injury may sidetrack his career. Maybe even for a year. We won’t know for sure until later this week, most likely.