Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch does not expect Lance McCullers Jr. to rejoin the starting rotation this season when he returns from a forearm injury.
Hinch said Sunday it is unlikely McCullers, who is 10-6 with a 3.93 ERA this season, would be able to rebuild his stamina to the point where he could start.
“I guess never say never ’cause once you get on the mound and get going things can progress a different way, but I think the focus will be and probably should be shorter stints,” Hinch said.
McCullers has been on the disabled list since Aug. 5, one day after he left a start against the Dodgers early because of a muscle strain.
Hinch also said McCullers’ rehabilitation program was being slowed down because of a “continued lack of progress,” but he is still targeting September for him to resume throwing off the mound.