Astros' ALCS Roster Does Not Include Lance McCullers Jr. – MLB Trade Rumors

MLB Trade Rumors
By | October 15, 2021 at 11:16am CDT
The Astros have suffered a notable blow to their ALCS roster, which was announced this morning and does not include ailing right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. His status for the ALCS was up in the air after he exited last round’s decisive Game 4 due to forearm discomfort and underwent a subsequent MRI. The team hasn’t made a formal announcement on McCullers’ injury just yet, so it’s not clear whether he might be able to return for a potential World Series push. Houston also dropped third catcher Garrett Stubbs for their showdown with the Red Sox.
Replacing McCullers and Stubbs on the ALCS roster are right-hander Jake Odorizzi and lefty Blake Taylor. Odorizzi will give the team an additional option in the rotation with McCullers sidelined, while Taylor gives manager Dusty Baker a second southpaw option in the bullpen. Here’s how the roster breaks down…
Right-Handed Pitchers
Left-Handed Pitchers
Catchers
Infielders
Outfielders
The veteran Odorizzi had a rocky go of things in free agency last winter, as his eventual two-year deal with Houston fell a ways shy of expectations. Many teams opted to barely spend at all in free agency on the heels of a season without ticket revenues, and Odorizzi was one of several players who struggled to find a fit. His contract with the ’Stros was signed well into Spring Training, preventing the righty from getting full ramp-up to the season. Some rust was apparent early on, when Odorizzi gave up nine runs through eight innings total across his first three starts. He hit the injured list with a pronator strain, returned a month later, and looked much more like the version of Odorizzi we’ve generally come to expect.
From May 29 forward, Odorizzi pitched to a 3.72 ERA with a 19.8 percent strikeout rate and 7.7  percent walk rate. The results were generally solid, but Odorizzi averaged fewer than five innings per start as the team rather rigidly opted against letting him face opposing lineups a third time through the order. That led to some vocal frustration from Odorizzi when asked about a quick hook in a postgame press session late in the season, but the right-hander said a day later that things had been smoothed over after an open and candid talk with Baker, pitching coach Brent Strom and general manager James Click.
The exact role Odorizzi will have in the ALCS isn’t clear. He’s stayed in shape and prepared in the event that he’d be added to the roster after being omitted from the ALDS. He could be utilized as a long-relief option, but it’s also plausible that he’ll be called upon to make start in the middle of the series. Houston has only announced Valdez and Garcia as the Game 1 and Game 2 starters for now. Presumably, the Game 3 and Game 4 starters will be decided based on early usage for the staff in the first two games and the broader context of wins and losses in the early going.
Houston’s decision to omit McCullers also creates the possibility that he could be added back to the ALCS roster as an injury replacement, depending on how his forearm progresses. Had the Astros included him on the initial roster and then had to remove him once again, he’d have been rendered ineligible for the World Series, should Houston advance that far.
Houston Astros Lance McCullers Jr. Newsstand
Vizionaire
7 hours ago
American League Cheaters Series
3loodhound
7 hours ago
Where’s the evidence that the Sox did anything illegal in 2018? Everything Cora was punished for happened in 2017 with the Stros. There is zero evidence that either team is cheating now. Enjoy the talent on display and wish for better luck for your team next season.
iverbure
7 hours ago
Both the Yankees and Redsox had iPhones in the dugout or something. All 3 teams cheated it’s not up for debate.
3loodhound
7 hours ago
“…. or something”. Compelling evidence.
elmedius
7 hours ago
And if the Rays are willing to steal pitching plan cards from catchers out in the open… who knows what else is up?
Plus you’ve got the Dodgers and their gazillion dollar budget…. So Go Braves?
FletcherFan69
7 hours ago
Every team likely steals signs in a subtle, rule-bending way. Remember Erik Kratz’s accusations against the Rockies? I think that’s why no players commented on the Red Sox accusations but piled onto the Astros– everybody was cheating, but the Astros took it too far relative to every other team.
Darth Nihilus
7 hours ago
Really! This is the best you can come up with? Are you in high school?
Bruin1012
6 hours ago
What’s really not up for debate is the all teams and I mean all teams have done some form of cheating except maybe the teams that are tanking. Iverbure that is what’s not up for debate. The commissioners office new this so they decided to make an example of the worst offender and the team that hired one of the masterminds behind it.
whyhayzee
6 hours ago
Maybe the teams that are tanking have a system where they communicate the wrong pitch to the batter.
billysbballz
6 hours ago
Yanks never had cell phones in dug out, lol. Don’t make stuff up. There investigation wasn’t close to what mlb investigated Boston and Houston and MLB handled it sooo poorly so now we have this black eye snd two same teams with Alex Cora coaching one of them. Sad
Jwest001
5 hours ago
That technically isn’t illegal,so it isn’t cheating, although it is frowned upon
elmedius
5 hours ago
You’re right. It was apple watches and not cell phones.
The Mets “Missed WAR”
5 hours ago
It’s not stealing something if a player drops it at your feet on the field (a neutral place unlike a dugout or clubhouse) and then walks away. That’s not stealing. That’s pretty much just finders keepers. I doubt Kermier even knew who it specifically belonged to when he found it. I’m not suggesting Kermier did the right thing and I think it was pretty douchy for him to lie and say it was an accident and then refuse to give it back when he could have just made copies and then returned it. That definitely wasn’t stealing though. That was just a poor job by the Blue Jays of securing their game information. I also don’t think Cora should be punished without evidence supporting he did anything with the Red Sox but it’s also naive to assume he just stopped cheating as soon as he got to Boston. He was a big part of creating the cheating scandal in Houston. Why would he stop once he got to Boston? It’s more likely he just got better at covering it up. He also had a heads up that he was going to be investigated in Boston because they investigated Houston first. That gives him plenty of time to get rid of evidence and maybe even coach people on what to say. He shouldn’t be punished without proof but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with assuming a proven cheater probably got away with cheating a few times without getting caught. His previous behavior suggests he very likely continued cheating with both teams all the way up until the Houston investigation started and then got rid of the evidence and covered it up. The ALCS really is the 2 cheatingest teams in baseball going head to head. The top brass in MLB has to be rooting for the NL to win it all this year because I am sure they are worried some fans will be disgusted if a franchise caught cheating like the Houston Astros or a manager caught cheating like Alex Cora wins it all with those clouds hanging over their heads.
Dorothy_Mantooth
4 hours ago
@Billysbballz – But the Yankees did use a lawyer / judge to suppress a written statement from MLB on how they were cheating, stating it would cause “irreparable harm” to their brand. So the Yankees are smack dab in the middle of this thing too.
Dorothy_Mantooth
4 hours ago
@ MetsmissedWAR – So if I find a wallet in the street with someone’s ID in it and $200 inside and decide to not give it back, that’s “finders keepers” and not stealing? I disagree with that take. Once you know who it belongs to, you really should return it if you are a decent human being.
In regards to Cora, I don’t understand why people still think that he was the mastermind behind this. The front office built a tool to decode pitchers signs and then passed it down to the club. Someone made the decision to use that data in games and someone assigned Cora (and others) to figure out how to do so. Cora has a ton of dirt on the Houston franchise but he actually took the high road and didn’t divulge who gave those orders, even though the Astros used him as the scapegoat. I’m willing to bet MLB got involved and told Cora not to go public and he’d be ‘rewarded’ for not doing so. He’s a manager again so that was his reward. He’s not innocent but he’s certainly not the mastermind either.
astrosfansince1974
4 hours ago
Who’s “Kermier?”
rocky7
4 hours ago
Yeh, Billy….the Yankee haters are out in force on this string!
JoeBrady
4 hours ago
CF on TB.
JoeBrady
4 hours ago
Billy-the two key figures for this were Chris Young and Carlos Beltran. And guess what team they were on before they joined the RS and Astros? Yes, that’s right, the NYY.
And Young admits to having started this with the NYY. He’d go into the video room and translate the pitch sign sequences, and then relay them to the runner on 2nd. It wasn’t illegal. And he brought that process to the Red Sox. But instead walking the information to the dugout, the RS used an Apple watch.
The Mets “Missed WAR”
3 hours ago
The question of whether you “should” return it is a different question entirely. Your confusing what you believe is morally right with what a rule should be. I think it would definitely be the more honorable thing to return it. The only things that “should” have happened is the Blue Jay that dropped it should have made sure he did a better job of securing it. Same goes for the guy that dropped the wallet. I would personally return the wallet but that doesn’t mean I consider someone who wouldn’t a thief. It’s not the Rays job to fix another teams mistakes. It’s their job to take advantage of them and do anything within the rules to win. That Rays player gets paid millions of dollars every year. He has a responsibility to do whatever he can to help his team win. He does not have a responsibility to fix opponents mistakes for them. If I found someone’s wallet I would return it. I would be returning it out of empathy though, not responsibility. If someone else didn’t return it I wouldn’t accuse him of stealing. Maybe just being a little less empathetic. Toro had a responsibility to keep that card in his possession and he didn’t. He’s the only guy that failed at what he was supposed to do. Once he doesn’t do that anything can happen. I do think Kermier was douchy about it but it’s not against the rules and I think it’s his responsibility to do what he can to help his team win. I’m not thinking so much about whether he did the exact right thing as I am debating the idea that there is grounds for accusing him of stealing. I may have done something different but that doesn’t give me an excuse to accuse him of doing something he didn’t do. He may not have done the classiest thing possible but picking something up off the ground someone else dropped and completely forgot about does not fit the definition of stealing. For me to falsely accuse him (or anyone) of stealing would make me even worse than him. He was advantageous and he wasn’t very classy about it. I can’t accuse him of stealing though. If he had taken it out of Toro’s pocket that would be a totally different story. He didn’t though. Toro left it on the ground and walked away like he didn’t care about it. It’s not the Rays players responsibility to make sure that’s what Toro intended to do. It’s only his responsibility to help his team win.
vtadave
3 hours ago
Too long.
TylerBlackSimon
3 hours ago
That’s what she said
pwndroia
2 hours ago
We were cheaters but we lost more games than the Rays and just took them out. The teams aren’t fresh, I get that, but the cheating is overwith.
slimmycito
43 mins ago
Haha what? You just admitted your team cheated lmao
slimmycito
40 mins ago
@pwndroia dude you just admitted your team cheated and tried to explain why that’s ok lol
slimmycito
38 mins ago
Absolutely typical Boston fan lmfao
dodgerfan83
4 hours ago
Here’s an article.
nbcsports.com/washington/nationals/red-sox-cheatin…
Red Sox replay guy suspended for a year and banned from the replay room for 2 years and they lost a draft pick. So yes, they cheated.
jjd002
4 hours ago
And you know dang well it didn’t just stop with him.
GASoxFan
7 hours ago
No cheating yet… but, anyone think you may see a concocted covid positive or nebulous injury as an excuse to add mccullers as a mid series callup?
Steve Nebraska
6 hours ago
I’m replying to you because Tastumaki has me muted (for calling out his wrong comments in the past), but his comment is so dumb, I have to correct it.
The Astro’s OPS is .050 lower because the league’s OPS is .050 lower. They were the highest OPS in 2019 and are the second highest OPS this year. They didn’t dip in any meaningful way. If anything, they are hitting better because they lost Springer and replaced him with mediocre hitters all year. I’m not an Astro’s fan, but the evidence is clear that their “cheating” didn’t have a significant affect on their offensive production overall. If you want to claim isolated incidents were aided, that is fine, but you have to point to other arguments than the team’s OPS.
Edit: Realized he typed OBP which is funnier since their OBP did not fall .050 points it only fell .020 points. I going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant OPS.
astrosfansince1974
4 hours ago
Why would they want to add an injured pitcher mid series instead of simply keeping him on the roster in the first place?
dodger1958
37 mins ago
Astrosfan because he is not ready to pitch…yet. He may be over the couse of this upcoming series.
Tatsumaki
6 hours ago
Funny to see astros apologists defend this trash team. Look at how their stars averages and obp fell 50 points since they were ousted….Gonna enjoy smacking these guys around
coupofthecentury
4 hours ago
This is from “Steve Nebraska”;
I’m replying to you because Tastumaki has me muted (for calling out his wrong comments in the past), but his comment is so dumb, I have to correct it.
The Astro’s OPS is .050 lower because the league’s OPS is .050 lower. They were the highest OPS in 2019 and are the second highest OPS this year. They didn’t dip in any meaningful way. If anything, they are hitting better because they lost Springer and replaced him with mediocre hitters all year. I’m not an Astro’s fan, but the evidence is clear that their “cheating” didn’t have a significant affect on their offensive production overall. If you want to claim isolated incidents were aided, that is fine, but you have to point to other arguments than the team’s OPS.
Edit: Realized he typed OBP which is funnier since their OBP did not fall .050 points it only fell .020 points. I going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant OPS.
Do you have a response or counter?
TylerBlackSimon
3 hours ago
Bloom Country was genius.
dodger1958
1 min ago
Why Steve do you continuously need to interject personal insults? To wit, “…his comment is so dumb, I have to correct it”?
Why?
HalosHeavenJJ
5 hours ago
Astros in 2017
Roid Sux in every single one this century.
yankista
3 hours ago
… at least Cora knows what she’s going to face!! Jejejeje
TylerBlackSimon
3 hours ago
it’s just a piece of metal
3loodhound
7 hours ago
Sox in 7
TylerBlackSimon
3 hours ago
yep and Dodgers in 5
StrosFanSince94
7 hours ago
If the Astros split the first 2 games or somehow go down 0-2, get ready for a Raley or Taylor “injury” to pull McCullers off of the taxi squad.
astrosfansince1974
4 hours ago
Again, why fake an injury rather than just having him on the roster in the first place?
Cmurphy
4 hours ago
Because he MAY not be healthy enough to play. Obviously they don’t know if he can so why use a roster spot.
GASoxFan
3 hours ago
Because if mccullers starts and is removed, he’s not WS eligible.
But if you have a 2nd stringer start first, then remove him to add mccullers, all you burned was a fungible backup but got the benefit of still having 2 different guys pitch in the series.
jdgoat
6 hours ago
Sad face
AshamedMethGoat
6 hours ago
This just allows the Astros to add a right-handed trashcan to the roster, so not a huge loss.
driftcat28 2
5 hours ago
Sox in 6
Rangers29
5 hours ago
Before McCullers went down I thought the Astros were clearly better than the Sox, but now not having him for game 3 and a potential game 7 makes them fairly even in my eyes. Odorizzi is a nice little LR replacement for him, but that hurts bad. They’re going to need Greinke and Javier to be popping on all cylinders this series.
Btw, I don’t think they used Stubbs once in the White Sox series. I’m not sure if Taylor was hurt or something (if he was it makes more sense), but replacing him with Stubbs in that first series wasn’t the best of moves despite the White Sox RHH heavy lineup. Glad he’s in this series because that’s a big arm to add to the depleted pen they have.
cje95
3 hours ago
Taylor wasnt added due to the White Sox being almost exclusively a right handed team! Stros came out and said that they brought Stubbs up incase they needed to pinch run Casto or Maldy!
GreenWood Porter
3 hours ago
That depleted pen the Astros have dominated the White Sox for most of the series, except for game 3 when Yimi Garcia gave up 4 runs and Brooks Raley gave up 3 runs. The other 16 2/3 innings pitched by the bullpen they gave up only one run the rest of the series. That’s it.
2012orioles
5 hours ago
Astros got away with it. 3 years of cheating. No penalty practically, yet some Mlbtr readers thought it was harsh (see link below) They all do need a beating, as the great nick Markakis said. I know I’ll be rooting for whoever comes out of the NL. Bunch of arrogant punks, including lance
mlbtraderumors.com/2020/01/astros-jeff-luhnow-aj-h…
HalosHeavenJJ
5 hours ago
So did Boston. Can’t recall Papi or Manny getting suspended while there, no fallout from the Apple Watch scandal, etc.
JoeBrady
4 hours ago
Papi and Manny were PEDs-related allegations. Everyone had those. And we did get nicked with a fine, but we cheated against the Yankees. Nobody gets fined for that. It’s like the FBI bagging someone for stealing from the mob.
elmedius
2 hours ago
No fallout from the Apple Watch scandal because the other team (Yankees) had them too. Both teams were warned.
Given that because both teams had them and the excessive coverage that the two teams get when they play each other … it was likely common practice at the time.
jjd002
4 hours ago
Small correct – every team in the league got away with it.
TylerBlackSimon
4 hours ago
weak argument
jjd002
3 hours ago
Not arguing anything. I’m just stating facts.
dodger1958
33 mins ago
jjd correction. Just stating your opinion. Opinions are not facts.
TylerBlackSimon
4 hours ago
F— the Astros
GreenWood Porter
3 hours ago
People hate winners, don’t they?
WiffleBall
3 hours ago
People hate confirmed cheaters. It’s the same reason people here rag on the Sox and Yanks, all three were caught crossing some lines. The Astros were the most egregious.
And as for “hating winners” remember that before the trash can scandal, most fans around baseball loved the Astros– lots of great young underdog stars.
But combine their cheating with the smugness and lack of any remorse or acknowledgement of what they did, and yeah, they are pretty much universally hated.
jjd002
3 hours ago
How did they not acknowledge it? There’s literal video of them apologizing.
dodger1958
30 mins ago
Most likely written by attorneys with the aid of PR guys. Remember the owner acknowledged some wrong doing but said it didn’t change the outcome. They didn’t cheat for almost two tears because it gave them no advantage. If it changed the outcome of just one game in the WS, which in my opinion is likely they lose the series.
yankista
3 hours ago
Attention FOX… will be watching the game, so, please… please, we want camera even in the bathroom (… I mean, just in case… remember this Red-As game)
Armaments216
3 hours ago
Have to think the Houston players are really motivated to change the narrative — to prove they can win with little chance that they’re cheating (at least no more than any other team is).
TylerBlackSimon
3 hours ago
This assumes they have souls.
TylerBlackSimon
3 hours ago
I’m thinking of ending things
elmedius
2 hours ago
Live for baseball returning to Montreal.
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