The Astros still don’t know whether they can expect top young righty Lance McCullers Jr. to return this season from his elbow woes, as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports on Twitter. “We won’t know until he gets evaluated in a week,” said manager A.J. Hinch. “It’s all guess work at this point.” After climbing back from a rough start to the year, Houston now sits just one game over .500 and is in danger of falling out of contention. The 22-year-old McCullers owns a 3.22 ERA — matching his results from a season ago — and is sorely missed.
Here are some more notable pieces of information on the injury front:
- Giants righty Matt Cain is headed to the DL with a lower back strain, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle was among those to tweet. San Francisco activated righty Cory Gearrin from his own DL stint in a concurrent move, which does at least bolster the pen. It seems possible that veteran righty Jake Peavy could slide back into the rotation in place of Cain, who hasn’t completed six innings in a start since May 21st and was tagged for 11 earned runs over his last two outings.
- While it’s still far from a sure thing, the Athletics may yet welcome back righty Sonny Gray this year, manager Bob Melvin said yesterday. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets, the 26-year-old staff ace is beginning plyometric workouts and is feeling better. He recently hit the disabled list with a forearm strain and has struggled all year long, compiling an uncharacteristic 5.74 ERA in 116 innings of work.
- Tyson Ross has made it through a 30-pitch live BP session with added pen work, giving some hope that he’ll return for the Padres late this year, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). Still, the veteran righty will need to throw another such session before a rehab stint can be considered as he tries to return from shoulder troubles. With just one outing on his record for the season, Ross won’t command much if any raise on his $9.625MM arbitration salary in his final year of eligibility, but it will surely be difficult for the Pads to trade him over the winter if he can’t return to full health by the end of the year. Ross may yet feature as a spring or mid-season trade candidate next season, as he’ll qualify for free agency after the 2017 campaign.
- The Angels placed catcher Geovany Soto on the 15-day DL with knee inflammation, as Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Soto had appeared to be a plausible August trade candidate, but his knee surgery earlier this year seems to have lingered. The 33-year-old carries a useful .269/.321/.487 slash on the year, though he has compiled that in only 86 plate appearances. He is set to return to the open market at season’s end.