Another Excellent Discussion of what was likely happening with the Astros Ace by JoshuaTheAT
Now we move on to Lance McCullers. One of the most important factors to keep in mind when evaluating and treating an injury is past injury history of the structures involved. A quick refresher on Lance’s right elbow. During the 2016 season Lance was on and off the IL with shoulder and elbow injuries. (I mention the shoulder injury because often the two go together) In August 2018 Lance was diagnosed with a forearm strain. He was shut down and returned to pitch out of the bullpen for the Astros in the playoffs. He then had Tommy John surgery on that elbow shortly after the season. (Tommy John surgery=UCL tear) Lance probably pitched with a partially torn UCL in the playoffs, but fought through it to try and go back to back. Lance missed all of 2019, and was limited in innings in 2020 because of the shortened season. Which brings us to 2021 where he pitched the whole year until the ALDS where he was diagnosed with another forearm strain. Something worth noting: this year was the first time Lance has gone over 100 innings since 2017, and the most innings he’s ever thrown in a year in professional baseball. So he has quite an extensive injury history.
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