Astros lose Lance McCullers Jr. for 2019 season after Tommy John surgery

Yahoo Sports

The Houston Astros are suddenly a team that needs starting pitching.

Lance McCullers Jr., their talented righty with a wicked curveball, is out for the entire 2019 season after needing Tommy John surgery. McCullers, 25, was limited by injury toward the end of the 2018 season and didn’t look right in his final outing of the postseason for Houston.

For the first time, the Astros acknowledged Monday that he was having elbow issues and then announced Tuesday that he’d underwent surgery to fix his elbow ligament.


Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. had Tommy John surgery, which will sideline him until 2020. (AP)
Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. had Tommy John surgery, which will sideline him until 2020. (AP)

McCullers was great through July, striking out almost 10 batters per nine innings. But he was injured for all of August and returned in relief duty in late September and October.

Considering Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton are free agents, the defending AL West champs have now lost three starters as they head into 2019. The two they have, of course, are pretty good in Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Houston could potentially re-sign Keuchel or Morton. Or they could look elsewhere in the free agent or trade markets. With the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians both entertaining offers for their players, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the front-office savvy Astros look to poach a frontline starter like they did with Cole last winter.

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Mike Oz is a writer at Yahoo Sports. Contact him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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