Astros manager Dusty Baker said today that outfielder/DH Yordan Alvarez is “very close” to returning to action, as Mark Berman of FOX 26 was among those to cover (Twitter links). The skipper also revealed that closer Roberto Osuna will attempt to rehab and return later this season.
A precise timeline isn’t yet known for Alvarez, but it sounds as if the young slugger’s activation is imminent. He was cleared to resume training on July 24th after an unexplained but presumptively coronavirus-related absence. Adding Alvarez back into the lineup would be a big boost for the scuffling Houston squad.
As for Osuna, it’s quite a bit less clear where things are headed. His worrisome elbow situation has left a hole at the back of the Astros bullpen. He’s going to rest and rehab for a stretch, with eyes on a possible late-2020 comeback.
That’s far from a guarantee that Osuna will be able to avoid Tommy John surgery, let alone contribute again this season. But it’s a better outlook than had been indicated a week ago, when it seemed a surgical procedure was the likeliest outcome.
In other updates, the Astros have a trio of hurlers that are still moving in the right direction. Chris Devenski, Brad Peacock, and Jose Urquidy are all gearing up in bullpen sessions, though it remains unknown just when they’ll be ready for MLB action.