HOUSTON — Astros ace Lance McCullers Jr. has been dropped from the team’s roster for the American League Championship Series against Boston, a huge blow to a team looking to advance to the World Series for the second time in three seasons.
McCullers was great in a Game 1 win against the Chicago White Sox in the division series, throwing a scoreless ball in the seventh. But the righthander left Game 4 after four innings due to a strained forearm. He is listed as part of the Houston taxi crew for the ALCS.
Manager Dusty Baker said Friday that McCullers has an injured muscle in his forearm and “can’t throw a ball at the moment,” but tests have revealed no structural damage. His status remains unclear for the World Series if the Astros get this far.
“That’s good news,” Bakker said. “That’s great news. I hope he heals quickly. We don’t know if he’ll be available for the World Series or not, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”
He replaces him on the roster with right-handed Jake Odorizzi, who remained off the division’s roster after a disappointing first season in Houston. The only other change to Houston’s roster of the ALDS is the addition of lefthanded reliever Blake Taylor instead of catcher Garrett Stubbs, who will be part of the taxi crew.
Game 1 was won by the Astros 5-4.
The Red Sox kept the same roster from the ALDS, except for replacing pitchers Matt Barnes and Austin Davis with left-handed Darwinzon Hernandez and right-handed Hirokazu Sawamura.
Both teams will have 13 pitchers, two catchers and 11 other position players for this series.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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