Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. has been diagnosed with a muscle strain in his right forearm, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports on Twitter. McCullers had already been placed on the 10-day disabled list.
The 24-year-old McCullers has worked to a 3.93 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 through a personal-high 126 innings on the season. He is earning $2.45MM this year as a Super Two.
While this diagnosis certainly isn’t the best news, it’s also not the worst. McCullers is said to be likely to miss the remainder of the month of August, but it appears there is good reason to hope he’ll be able to return during the present season.
That’s not to say that McCullers and the ’Astros are out of the woods just yet. Any setbacks could threaten his availability down the stretch and in the postseason. And, in the long run, this is the latest of several injury issues that have combined to limit him to 199 2/3 innings over the prior two campaigns.
Focusing on the immediate picture, the Astros have several former starters working in their bullpen in Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock, though both are excelling in their current roles. Youngster Cionel Perez, who’s currently also in the MLB relief corps, could be among the internal options. It’s certainly also possible that the club could pursue a depth option on the August trade market, though a few possibilities have already left the shelves.