Astros scratch Lance McCullers Jr due to arm fatigue

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 23: Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (43) pitches during an MLB game between the Houston Astros and the Baltimore Orioles on July 23, 2017, at Orioles Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

The Houston Astros are skipping Lance McCullers Jr.’s next start due to arm fatigue, Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters Tuesday.

Hinch says he is not too worried about his right-hander, but he is just being cautious as McCullers recently came off of the disabled list due to back issues.

“He’s not concerned, which makes me not concerned,” said Hinch on Tuesday night. “Obviously it doesn’t feel good to have to scratch him, but we’re going to continue to be conservative with him especially. He’s had an up-and-down year dealing with stuff.”

Hinch added that McCullers received treatment Tuesday and that he felt he could probably make his next start.

Mike Fiers will start Wednesday in McCullers’ place.

The 23-year-old McCullers has gone 7-3 with a 3.97 ERA through his first 20 starts this season, allowing 104 hits and just seven home runs while striking out 122 batters over 111 innings of work. He made the All-Star Game as a result of his production.

McCullers was originally selected by Houston in the first round (41st pick overall) of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft.

He broke into the major leagues in 2015, going 6-7 with a 3.22 ERA across 22 starts. In 125.2 frames of action, the Tampa native surrendered 106 hits and 10 long balls and fanned 129 hitters.

Last year, McCullers was limited to just 14 starts due to shoulder issues. He went 6-5 with a 3.22 ERA, giving up 80 hits while registering 106 punchouts over 81 innings.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s action with a record of 87-57 and currently find themselves one loss behind the Cleveland Indians for the No. 1 seed in the American League.

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