Lance McCullers Jr - It seemed like only a matter of time as Lance McCullers relied heavily on his offspeed stuff and high velocity, but many young players continue to get Tommy John surgery. McCullers was one of them. He will miss the entire 2019 season, and that is going to be a question mark for Houston as Charlie Morton is a free agent, and Dallas Keuchel has slowed down. The rotation has always been a strength, but depth might be looking a little bit limited if they don’t make a move in the offseason. McCullers is expected back for the 2020 season.
Jose Altuve - Jose Altuve played 137 games in the 2018 season, but did miss some time with knee discomfort. During the ALCS against Boston, Altuve re-injured his knee, which forced him to serve as the DH the last few games. After the postseason, Altuve underwent minor knee surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery by Spring Training. Any setback would be trouble for one of Houston’s top hitters.
The star power in Houston has not been limited throughout the years, and there was a lot of talent on the hill back in the early 2000’s. We also saw a few guys like Roy Oswalt and Andy Pettite ride out their careers, which caused them to miss sometimes just with those nagging injuries that come with age. Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence were also some names that found themselves on the DL often.
George Springer early on in his day had strained both his quads, causing him to miss a few months, although it ended his 2014 season right after the all-star break. Springer might have drawn himself the injury prone tag, as he broke his wrist at the same time next year. It was a rough season for Houston, as Evan Gattis had to have surgery, while Lance McCullers was dealing with an elbow injury.
When Collin McHugh was in the starting rotation, he dealt with an impingement in his right elbow. which caused him to miss most of the 2017 season. In that same season, Springer dealt with more quad injuries, and Carlos Correa had a torn ligament in his thumb, which had him miss a few months. Correa ended up coming back but now quite the same guy at the plate.
These young guys are the key for the future, and dealing with some nagging injuries that cause them to miss months at a time is going to be something for the team to decide as they sign those bigger contracts once they come up.