Lance McCullers Jr. Throws Bullpen As Comeback Continues

McCullers threw a 17-pitch bullpen as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery

Adam Spolane
February 14, 2020 - 5:51 pm

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (SportsRadio 610) -- Lance McCullers Jr. threw his first bullpen session of spring training Friday afternoon as he continues on the road back from Tommy John surgery in November 2018.

"That was nice," McCullers said from the Astros' clubhouse. "Just going out there felt really good to be back on the mound with the other guys around, kind of a normal spring training routine. I wasn't worried about how it was going to feel or anything like that, I was wanting to stay under control."

With Astros general manager James Click and pitching coach Brent Strom looking on, McCullers threw 17 pitches to new Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, who told SportsRadio 610 McCullers looked great.

"I was only supposed to throw 15, but I snuck in a few extras," McCullers said. 

He also threw his full repitoire of pitches. 

"I threw fastballs. I threw sinkers. I threw curveballs, changeups," McCullers added. "I'm healthy, it's not like I'm out there throwing 50 percent, going through the motions, fastballs only. I came into camp ready to go."

Prior to talking with reporters, McCullers met with the Astros analytics staff and discussed goals for the 2020 season. 

"(We) talked about pitch usage and where we want to throw certain pitches, increasing things here and there. I don't want to tip my hand too much, but it's all things I've done before."

The Astros open their Grapefruit League schedule Feb. 22, and while things are on track for McCullers to be on the mound soon after, he like every other pitcher on the Astros' staff still has benchmarks to clear.

He still needs to throw more bullpens and face live hitters before pitching in spring training games. 

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