Houston Astros: Jose Altuve could be days away from a return

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve could reportedly be back in the lineup as early as a few days. What’s the latest? Let’s examine the possibilities.

The Houston Astros are already dealing with the injury bug with some of their top players as we pass through the first quarter of the season.  The team has officially placed George Springer on the injured list because of an injury to his left hamstring that he sustained in last night’s 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Springer was diving for a foul ball popped off by Xander Bogaerts in the 8th inning but he slid to avoid two defenders and a wall only to emerge in pain.  He took himself out of the game after that play and the Houston Astros have diagnosed his injury as a Grade 2 strain which will likely cause him to miss weeks if not longer.

But apparently as one guy goes to the IL, another will likely be coming off of it as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that Jose Altuve will be heading off to his rehab assignment tomorrow with Triple-A Round Rock — they’re up in Nashville — for Sunday as well as Monday.  He will then be evaluated and he could return as early as Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs, which will still be a part of the Houston Astros nine-game homestand.

Altuve suffered the strain back May 10 against the Arlington Rangers while trying to get to a

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infield single.  He has been working out for the past week or so and the latest reporting indicates that he’s been doing so without any pain.

This news couldn’t be any better as Springer, the dynamic lead-off hitter and AL MVP candidate will be on the shelf for a while.  Altuve may be a bit rusty out of the gate with his hitting but I’m sure he’ll be fine with his fielding.

Should A.J. Hinch insert Altuve as the lead-off batter in the lineup like back in the old days when the Houston Astros were quite horrible?  Not likely but we could possibly see some experimentation with that as he gets his feet wet once again.

Right now, the lead-off batter has been mostly Josh Reddick while Springer has been out, who has been hitting incredibly well as of late, but Aledmys Diaz was tapped for the job in Saturday’s tilt with the Boston Red Sox.

All in all, Altuve back in the lineup certainly bodes well for the Houston Astros already-prolific offense.

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I’ll be looking forward to the day he returns, whenever that may be.

Take you your time ‘Tuve — we’ll be waiting on you.