Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. diagnosed with muscle strain
Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Lance McCullers Jr. was diagnosed with a flexor pronator muscle strain, tweets Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. They found no structural problems with McCullers’ elbow.

In the strictest sense, this is good news for the Astros, as it doesn’t immediately rule him out for a potential return in the World Series. That said, there’s not a lot of news beyond that. He remains out for the League Championship Series and it would seem he only has an outside shot at returning this season, should Houston advance. The Astros are now three wins away from their third World Series appearance in the last five years.

The Astros have yet to announce their Game 3 starter, though manager Dusty Baker’s choice very well may depend on how they fare in tonight’s Game 2. 

Luis Garcia takes the bump tonight have never pitched into the fourth inning of a postseason game. After getting just 2 2/3 out of Framber Valdez yesterday, it will be interesting to see if Baker feels compelled to give Garcia more leash. Baker used eight of his 13 rostered pitchers to get the win in Game 1.

None of Zack Greinke, Jake Odorizzi, or Jose Urquidy appeared in Game 1, however. Those three are the likeliest candidates to take the ball in Game 3 on the road in Boston, with Odorizzi the most likely of the three.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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