Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers, Jr., has undergone Tommy John surgery, per reports. As a result, he will miss the 2019 season.
McCullers, 25, was an above-slot sign as the 41st overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Astros. His electric stuff has always been present, but there were questions even when he was drafted about whether he would be able to start, or if he would end up in a relief role. McCullers defied those who doubted his ability to stand up to a starter’s workload his first three-plus seasons in the majors, but will now be out until 2020.
For the Astros, this complicates their rotation situation, which was already weakened with the potential losses of free agents Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton, and with Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander eligible for free agency after 2019. Forrest Whitley looks ready to step into the rotation next year, and the Astros could look at other internal options such as Brad Peacock and Josh James, but for now, the rotation that carried them to 100+ wins in 2019 appears much weaker right now.