Astros’ Luis Garcia becomes second Houston pitcher to land on injured list in as many days

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By Webdesk

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Houston Astros right-hand man Luis Garcia has been placed on the 15-day injured list with discomfort in his throwing elbow. Left-hander Matt Gage has been recalled from Triple-A to take Garcia’s spot on the active roster. Garcia left Monday night’s game with the San Francisco Giants with elbow problems after throwing just eight pitches.

Fellow Houston native José Urquidy left Sunday night’s 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies with a shoulder injury. He was placed on the injured list on Monday.

Garcia’s final throw was an 82.9 mph cutter, slightly south of his season average of 85.4 mph. He threw his last pitch, crawled onto the mound with his teammates, then called the coach and left the game. For what it’s worth, Garcia had never been on the injury list in his career, whether it was a major or a minor.

Houston is already without Urquidy, who said he “felt something weak” in his shoulder after leaving Sunday’s start, and Lance McCullers Jr. McCullers suffered a forearm strain during spring training and has not pitched this season. He is relatively early in his pitching program and weeks away from rejoining the team.

The Astros rotational depth chart currently looks something like this:

  1. L. H. P. Framber Valdez
  2. RHP Cristian Javier
  3. RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (forearm strain)
  4. RHP Luis Garcia (elbow)
  5. RHP Jose Urquidy (discomfort in the shoulder)
  6. RHP Hunter Brown
  7. RHP Forrest Whitley?

The Astros came into play on Monday and were one of eight teams to use just five starters this season. That’s about to change with Urquidy and now Garcia on the shelf. Righty Brandon Bielak was called up to fill Urquidy’s roster spot and he came out of the bullpen on Monday to replace Garcia. Bielak was stretched to 75 pitches in Triple-A.

Garcia, 26, has a 4.00 ERA in five starts and 27 innings this season and a 3.61 ERA in 352 big league innings pitched since 2020. He pitched fairly effectively for his native Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic this spring.

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