Astros out Luis Garcia after eight throws with right elbow discomfort

The Houston Astros announced that starting pitcher Luis Garcia left Monday’s 7-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the lead in the first half due to an uncomfortable right elbow. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Garcia only threw eight pitches before the team’s head coach looked at it and walked out of the game.
  • Garcia’s removal comes hours after Astros rookie Jose Urquidi was placed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder discomfort.
  • Right substitute Brandon Belak, who was called up from Triple A to take Urquidy’s roster place, replaced Garcia and made four innings.
  • Garcia said he felt “pain” in his elbow after the fifth pitch of the game, but said he didn’t feel a pop. He will undergo an MRI on Tuesday to determine the severity of his injury.

the athleteInstant Analysis:

Another hit to the Astros’ starting spot depth

Catcher Martin Maldonado pointed to the Astros’ dugout after Garcia’s eighth pitch of the game—an 82.9-mile-per-hour catcher that missed Tiro Estrada. A brief meeting on the mound ended with Garcia exiting the game and shaking his head as he headed to the clubhouse.

Pace is never a good indicator of how Garcia is feeling—he swings more than any Astros starter—but it’s worth noting that he was low on both the four-seam fastball and the cutter before he was out. Garcia’s truncated start arrived a day after Orquidi suffered a shoulder injury in the sixth inning of his start against the Phillies, pushing the Astros’ already thin starter depth to the brink. – Rome

The injuries confirm Houston’s casual decisions

Urquidy and Garcia’s injuries underscore an issue the Astros chose not to address this winter. They lost Justin Verlander to the New York Mets and didn’t sign a major league player in response, relying instead on in-house options and replicating the impressive health their team displayed on the field last season.

The Astros used only eight pitchers last season. Five of them threw at least 145 innings, an anomaly that should not be accepted as sustainable. When asked in spring training if the team was considering adding a rookie, manager Dusty Baker replied “That’s always been a consideration for me…we haven’t had a general manager in place to make that move.” – Rome

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(Photo: Troy Taormina/USA Today)

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