10:59pm: Altuve’s IL placement is official, Kaplan reports. His roster spot will indeed go to Martin.
5:53pm: The Astros are likely to send second baseman Jose Altuve to the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain, manager A.J. Hinch announced Saturday (via Jake Kaplan of The Athletic and Mark Berman of Fox 26). The promotion of right-hander Corbin Martin will be the corresponding 25-man roster move, per Kaplan.
Altuve exited Friday’s game with the strain, and even though Hinch noted the Astros don’t think it’s serious, they’re erring on the side of caution with one of their cornerstones. For now, they’ll turn to Aledmys Diaz at the keystone and have Yuli Gurriel back him up, according to Kaplan.
This will be only the second IL placement in Altuve’s career since he made his major league debut in 2011. The six-time All-Star missed three weeks last summer with a right knee injury, but that didn’t stop him from producing at an elite level for the fifth straight season.
Altuve, 29, hasn’t been his usual great self thus far in 2019, thanks in part to a sure-to-rise .234 batting average on balls in play, though he has still hit a respectable .243/.329/.472 (119 wRC+) with nine home runs and a 25:18 K:BB ratio in 164 plate appearances. Altuve’s replacement, Diaz, has also done well avoiding strikeouts, having fanned in just 13.8 percent of plate trips. However, Diaz has still only mustered a .217/.246/.383 line (66 wRC+) with two HRs in 65 attempts.