Houston Astros: The progress of three players on rehab assignments

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

The Houston Astros currently have three players on rehab assignments as they work their way back from injury to the diamond. How are things going?

Houston Astros fans — it’s June, the team is winning a plethora of games all while enjoying a 47-23 record and a 9.5-game lead in the AL West.  The young guns are getting it done — Yordan Alvarez continues to pulverize the baseball, Tony Kemp keeps on Kempin’, while Rogelio Armenteros, who made his MLB debut last night, pitched well in relief, tossing three strikeouts, allowing two hits and no runs through 3.0 innings of work.

The depth of this roster is flabbergasting and it’s truly evident that they will have the goods to compete for another World Series title, something that remains at the forefront of all of those involved in the Houston Astros organization.

This team is still winning games despite not having Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa in the lineup which is quite admirable as to how the continuity still remains prevalent for this team despite the challenges that it faces.

With how the Houston Astros succumbed to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS last season, it’s clearly obvious that general manager Jeff Luhnow wanted to ensure that even if the injury bug were to strike, this team would still continue to win ballgames.

Altuve was playing with a bum knee, Correa was nursing a back issue and it seemed the team had waved the white flag just because of the fact that the injuries decimated their firepower.  That’s not the case this season as the enormous amount of depth ensures this team remains successful, while they continue to jockey for position with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors.

So while all of this is going on there are three guys that are currently headed down the chute of a possible return back to the lineup.

According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, here’s the latest in regard to the players that are on the shelf:

Aledmys Diaz (left hamstring strain) and Springer (left hamstring strain) are still currently on the shelf with their return yet unknown.

Joe Smith (left Achilles’ surgery from a rupture) threw a bullpen session this past Tuesday and should be doing live batting practice sessions next week.  He could be getting his rehab assignment shortly thereafter if things go well for him.

Collin McHugh (right elbow discomfort), Max Stassi (left knee soreness) and Altuve (left hamstring strain/right leg soreness) are currently in Round Rock participating in their rehab assignments with the Express as they take on the Reno Aces.

Both Altuve and McHugh completed their assignments and their performance was less than

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satisfying but as long as they feel good while getting themselves acclimated back to game-style situations, that’s all that matters.

Altuve batted third last night at Dell Diamond, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.  McHugh stepped in relief for starter Jose Urquidy at the top of the 7th inning, allowing two earned runs — one being a homer — as well as one strikeout and one hit through 0.2 innings of work.

Stassi went 1-for-4 with a double against the Aces this past Thursday and it remains to be seen if he’ll get another start in tonight’s game, to which I think will be likely.  There’s no official word on that quite yet at the time of this writing.

All in all, it sounds like these guys need a few more starts just to get a feel for where they are but it may be soon enough that we see these three guys back the lineup.

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There’s absolutely no rush to bring them back because the healthy guys are getting it done but at least it’s good to know how they’re progressing.

The 40-27 Express will take on the Aces at 6:05 p.m. CDT to try to reel themselves in amid a tough 16-3 loss last night.