While hitting a single in the seventh inning of today’s game, Jose Altuve collided with A’s first baseman Christian Bethancourt, knocking down players to the ground. Altuve remained on the field and then played second base in the bottom half of the inning, but he was replaced prior to the bottom of the eighth and underwent concussion protocol. Manager Dusty Baker told reporters (including The Houston Chronicle’s Danielle Lerner) that Altuve “didn’t look too good in the eyes” in the aftermath, and is planning two lineups for Tuesday’s game based on Altuve’s availability.
The star second baseman hit his 10th homer of the season in the 5-1 victory over Oakland, elevating Altuve’s fantastic slash line to .286/.349/.556 through 146 plate appearances. Even despite Altuve’s importance to the Astros lineup, it is possible Baker could opt to give him an off-day tomorrow just as a precaution even if he clears concussion protocol. Mauricio Dubon and Aledmys Diaz are on hand to fill in at the keystone, though naturally the Astros would be in trouble if Altuve had any lingering concussion symptoms that forced him to miss an extended amount of time.
More from Houston…
- Kyle Tucker missed the last two games since leaving Saturday’s game with a sore left foot. Baker told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart and other reports that an MRI didn’t reveal any structural damage, so Tucker is just day-to-day for now. While Tucker hasn’t matched the heights of his breakout 2021 season, the outfielder has still been quite solid, hitting .239/.335/.439 with eight home runs in 179 PA.
- Jake Odorizzi tossed 41 pitches during a bullpen session on Sunday, his third bullpen session since suffering a lower leg injury earlier this month. Odorizzi told Brian McTaggart and other reporters that wasn’t a clear timeline yet in place, though he figured he would be able to get back to action relatively quickly since his arm wasn’t impacted by the injury, but such aspects as “strengthening, positioning, mobility” still need work.
- Talking to The Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome (Twitter links) and other media on Friday, Lance McCullers Jr. said he is roughly at a “mid-January” place in relation to the usual rhythms of his offseason prep work. McCullers suffered a right flexor tendon strain during the playoff last year, and then hit a setback while rehabbing the injury during the winter. While there’s still obviously a ways to go, McCullers has been hitting some gradual checkpoints in his recovery, including throwing off the rubber for the first time on Friday.