News broke Friday evening that Houston Astros right-handed pitcher Luis Garcia is set to undergo ulnar collateral ligament surgery, or Tommy John surgery, per Astros General Manager Dana Brown.
In his last outing on May 1 against the San Francisco Giants, Garcia was taken out of the game in the top of the first inning after throwing eight pitches. After the game, the Astros said that Garcia would be day-to-day with right elbow soreness. Soon after, the Astros would place Garcia on the 15-day injured list, hoping that rest would return to the mound quicker. Once Garcia was placed on the injured list, the Astros recalled right-handed pitcher Brandon Bielak to fill the void on the roster.
With Garcia out the remainder of the 2023 season and possibly half of the 2024 season, the Astros called up right-handed pitcher J.P. France from Triple-A Sugar Land early Friday morning to take Garcia’s spot in the rotation. France has compiled a 2-1 record in five games this season, with a 2.33 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 19.1 innings pitched with the Space Cowboys.
With the rotation starting to take a hit, the defending World Series champions will have to grind it out for as long as they can. With Lance McCullers Jr. set to return sometime in June and the looming injury to Jose Urquidy, the Astros could dip into their farm system again and call up former first-round pick Forrest Whitley, who is long overdue to make his debut.
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