Houston Astros right-hander Luis Garcia will have Tommy John surgery, the team announced Friday night. A surgery date has not yet been set. Garcia exited Monday's game against the San Francisco Giants with elbow discomfort after throwing only eight pitches.
Garcia's final pitch Monday was an 82.9 mph cutter, a bit south of his 85.4 mph season average. He threw his final pitch, huddled with his teammates on the mound, then called for the trainer and exited the game. For what it's worth, Garcia had never been on the injured list in his career, majors or minors.
These days Tommy John surgery comes with a 14-18 month rehab, putting Garcia on track to return around next year's All-Star break. Houston called up righty J.P. France to replace Garcia in the rotation.
Garcia is the second starting pitcher the Astros have lost to injury within the past week. On Sunday, fellow righty José Urquidy exited his start with a shoulder injury and was later placed on the injured list. He will be shut down at least 10 games. The Astros are also without Lance McCullers Jr., who suffered a forearm strain in spring training and has not pitched this season.
The Astros' rotation depth chart looks like this at the moment:
- LHP Framber Valdez
- RHP Cristian Javier
RHP Lance McCullers Jr.(forearm strain) RHP Luis Garcia(Tommy John surgery) RHP José Urquidy(shoulder discomfort)
- RHP Hunter Brown
- RHP J.P. France
- RHP Forrest Whitley
Prior to the Urquidy and Garcia injuries, the Astros were one of eight teams to use only five starters this season. That obviously will change now. Righty Brandon Bielak was called up to fill Urquidy's roster spot and he came out of the bullpen to replace Garcia on Monday. Bielak was stretched out to 75 pitches in Triple-A.
Garcia, 26, had a 4.00 ERA in five starts and 27 innings this season and a 3.61 ERA in 352 career big-league innings since 2020. He pitched rather effectively for his native Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic this spring.