HOUSTON – The Astros placed righthander Lance McCullers on the 10-day disabled list Monday because of a lower back problem, another blow to a rotation hit hard by injuries.
His stint on the DL is retroactive to June 9. General manager Jeff Luhnow said the team doesn't expect it to lead to a "long absence" for McCullers.
"It's something that was going to keep him from making his start [Tuesday]," manager A.J. Hinch said. "So then we decided to put him on the DL and give him complete rest and hope that he comes back at the end of those 10 days."
McCullers joins ace Dallas Keuchel and righthander Charlie Morton on the 10-day disabled list. Houston has also been without starter Collin McHugh, who is on the 60-day disabled list, all season, but righthander Joe Musgrove came off the disabled list to start Monday against the Texas Rangers.
McCullers is 6-1 with a 2.58 ERA in 13 starts this season, providing a potent 1-2 punch with Keuchel at the front end of the rotation as the Astros raced out to a double-digit lead in the AL West.
Brad Peacock will pitch in McCullers' spot on Tuesday against the Rangers on three days' rest.