Lance McCullers Jr. will not pitch in ALCS, Astros GM says

Jake Odorizzi, Blake Taylor join Astros’ ALCS squad

Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws against the Chicago White Sox in the first inning during Game 4 of a baseball American League Division Series Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Nam Y. Huh, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – The Astros released their finalized ALCS roster on Friday, and their ace, Lance McCullers Jr., is not listed.

The star pitcher had left Game 4 of the ALDS in Chicago after 4 innings and 73 pitches. After the game, as the Astros celebrated their ALDS victory, McCullers told reporters he had been experiencing tightness in his arm at the beginning of the fourth inning.

Concern was immediate, given his prior Tommy John surgery. It was reported he could be out, but today’s announcement makes it official.

While McCullers isn’t on the ALCS roster, he is on the taxi squad that will be with the team for emergency recall purposes, as needed. According to MLB’s terminology, “players on the Taxi Squad are permitted to work out with the Major League Club but are not permitted to be in uniform and in the dugout during games.”

Astros General Manager James Click told KPRC 2′s Randy McIlvoy McCullers will not pitch in the ALCS due to a flexor pronator strain.

Right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi and lefthander Blake Taylor take the roster spots of McCullers and Garrett Stubbs, who joins McCullers on the taxi squad.

In two postseason starts spanning 10.2 innings, McCullers was 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA. In the regular season, McCullers had a 13-5 record with a 3.16 ERA, with 185 strikeouts in 162.1 innings pitched.

The Astros said they would give more information on McCullers’ status at a later date.

Here is the Astros’ complete ALCS roster, as released on Friday, by position:


  • RHP Luis Garcia
  • RHP Yimi Garcia
  • RHP Kendall Graveman
  • RHP Zack Greinke
  • RHP Cristian Javier
  • RHP Phil Maton
  • RHP Jake Odorizzi
  • RHP Ryan Pressly
  • LHP Brooks Raley
  • RHP Ryne Stanek
  • LHP Blake Taylor
  • RHP Jose Urquidy
  • LHP Framber Valdez


  • Jason Castro
  • Martin Maldonado


  • Jose Altuve
  • Alex Bregman
  • Carlos Correa
  • Aledmys Diaz
  • Yuli Gurriel


  • Yordan Alvarez
  • Michael Brantley
  • Chas McCormick
  • Jake Meyers
  • Jose Siri
  • Kyle Tucker

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

About the Authors:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.