Astros activate troubled closer Roberto Osuna, place RHP Lance McCullers Jr. on disabled list
The Houston Astros placed right-hander Lance McCullers on the 10-day disabled list Sunday, one day after he departed a start against the Los Angeles Dodgers due to elbow pain.
Right-handed reliever Roberto Osuna was reinstated off the restricted list in a corresponding move. Osuna was serving a 75-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.
McCullers left Saturday's game after tossing some warmup pitches in the bottom of the fifth inning. He traveled from Los Angeles to Houston to have the elbow examined on Sunday.
"I'm hopeful that it's going to be good news but I'll deal with it," McCullers told reporters after Saturday's game. "Whatever's done is done. I'm looking forward to an opportunity to help the team again, whenever the time comes again."
McCullers, 24, is 10-6 with a 3.93 ERA in 22 starts this season.
Meanwhile, Osuna was arrested on May 8 in Toronto and charged with assault. The case is still pending.
Osuna's arrival led to the Astros holding a team meeting Saturday and the team released a statement on Sunday to explain the addition of the 23-year-old to the organization.
"On August 4th, Roberto Osuna willfully and successfully completed his MLB domestic violence program requirements," the statement began. "Because of the ongoing legal proceedings, very little can be said about the incident itself or the case involving Roberto.
"Our decision to acquire Roberto was based on the entirety of information that we gathered during our extensive evaluation. That included as much information as we could gather about the specific incident and the charges that were filed but it also included as much information as we could gather about his actions before and after the incident, as well as his personal reputation among his former teammates and coaches. The information regarding this specific incident weighed heavily on our decision but when evaluating the entirety of the information, we felt that Roberto deserved a second chance.
"We are now focused on ensuring that Roberto makes a positive impact off the field while he is a member of the Houston Astros. We are providing Roberto with the benefit of a great clubhouse and organization as a supportive environment for this fresh start. We welcome being held accountable for all of our personnel decisions. Time will tell which ones were right and wrong. We believe that Roberto will not let us down. If there is any type of issue in the future, we will take immediate and decisive action -- it will not be tolerated.
"This was an extremely difficult decision for our organization. We understood that it would cause significant debate. We are strong believers in protecting the rights of victims and remain committed to having a positive impact on our community."
Osuna met with reporters prior to Sunday's game against the Dodgers and was asked if he had a message for fans, especially female ones.
"At this point, we don't know what's happened, what's going to happen and we have to wait for that to play out," Osuna said through a translator. "To the community, I'm just very happy to be here and support this team."
Houston made the controversial trade to acquire Osuna on Monday when they sent three right-handed pitchers -- demoted closer Ken Giles and minor leaguers David Paulino and Hector Perez -- to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The league initially placed Osuna on administrative leave, during which he was paid but could not play. The administrative leave subsequently was extended at least four times as MLB investigated the alleged incident.
Osuna had nine saves and a 2.93 ERA in 15 appearances for the Blue Jays this season. He saved 39 games in 2017 and 36 in 2016.