Lance McCullers Jr. is set to make his season debut for the Houston Astros against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, per Brian McTaggart. McCullers has been sidelined since the 2021 postseason with a flexor tendon forearm strain.
McCullers rehab hasn’t been an easy one. Nearly 10 months removed from his forearm injury in Game 4 of the 2021 ALDS, McCullers is set to return to the mound. He likely would’ve gotten back sooner, but his rehab was put on hold during the 2022 MLB Lockout when he wasn’t allowed to communicate with team medical staff or trainers.
Regardless, McCullers has been slowly progressing this season and has now made four rehab starts. His most recent came on Sunday when he pitched five innings and struck out five while allowing five runs on seven hits for the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate in Sugar Land.
McCullers will be playing in his seventh big league season. He has gone 45-30 in 119 career starts with a 3.16 ERA. The Astros have a 71-40 record and are 11.5 games ahead of the Seattle Mariners in the AL West. McCullers could afford a slow start back in the big leagues but would need to get back to form sooner rather than later to continue helping Houston as they approach the postseason.