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Astros SP Lance McCullers Jr. left off roster for ALCS vs. Red Sox

McCullers was forced to leave Game 4 of the ALDS vs. the White Sox due to forearm discomfort. His MRI came back fine.

Starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. #43 of the Houston Astros pitches during the 2nd inning of Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on October 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Friday, Oct. 15: Update — McCullers was left off the Astros’ roster for the ALCS vs. the Red Sox due to his forearm injury. Here’s the complete roster for Houston in the series:

Thursday, Oct. 14: Update — McCullers went for an MRI and everything turned up fine. Still, Jon Heyman is reporting that McCullers is unlikely to be available for the ALCS. This is a pretty big blow for Houston, which is thin in the starting pitcher department as is behind Framber Valdez and Luis Garcia. Jose Urquidy will have to step up and we could see a bullpen game featuring Jake Odorizzi as the starter.

Houston Astros SP Lance McCullers Jr. was pulled from Game 4 of the ALDS vs. the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday afternoon due to forearm discomfort, manager Dusty Baker confirmed to reporters after the 10-1 win. The Astros defeated the White Sox in four games to advance to the ALCS for the fifth consecutive season.

McCullers went 4.0 innings, allowing 1 ER on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts before being replaced by Yimi Garcia. The ‘Stros were possibly being cautious with McCullers heading into the next round. He likely wasn’t going to start Game 1 of the ALCS vs. the Boston Red Sox on Friday anyway, so pulling him early allows for him to start next week in the middle of the series.

If McCullers is unable to pitch in the ALCS, that could put the Astros in a bit of a bind. Framber Valdez becomes the ace and should pitch Game 1 on Friday. Luis Garcia struggled vs. the White Sox in Game 3 and behind him is Jose Urquidy and Jake Odorizzi as potential starters. We could also see Kendall Graveman serve as a starter in some type of bullpen game.