Possible surgery clouds McCullers' 2019 status

Luhnow acknowledges that Astros righty could miss entire season

November 6th, 2018

Astros pitcher has reportedly been dealing with right elbow issues and could require surgery that would keep him out for the entire 2019 season, according to a report on Monday night by Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
Astros general manager and president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow acknowledged to Rome that McCullers' elbow was the problematic area and that he "has been seen by some doctors, and I think we're going to know more shortly."
When asked further regarding whether the 25-year-old right-hander would pitch in 2019, Luhnow replied, "If he has surgery, no. If he doesn't, yes."
McCullers missed nearly two months spanning most of August and September with what had been diagnosed at the time as a right forearm strain sustained as the result of swinging a bat. After starting 22 games through Aug. 4, he returned to the mound in a Sept. 26 relief appearance and pitched in eight games out of the bullpen in September and through the playoffs, allowing one earned run in 7 1/3 innings.
Despite his effectiveness on the mound, there had been rumors that McCullers had been pitching through some sort of lingering injury, but the right-hander had not directly addressed the severity of his problems. Freelance reporter Joe DeMayo reported on Oct. 18 that McCullers had been pitching through a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.
"We're going to figure all that stuff out," McCullers said following the Astros' elimination from the American League Championship Series by the Red Sox. "I'm pretty banged up. Other guys are banged up, too. That's going to be something down the road the next couple of days, the next couple of weeks we'll figure out."
McCullers was 10-6 with a 3.86 ERA in 25 games during the regular season, including 22 starts, throwing a career-high 128 1/3 innings.