The Astros have activated second baseman Jose Altuve from the 10-day injured list and optioned right-hander Humberto Castellanos, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic tweets. Altuve’s batting second in the Astros’ lineup against the Rangers on Tuesday.
Altuve went on the IL on Sept. 5 with a sprained right knee, continuing a trend of recent problems in the joint for the former MVP. He also underwent surgery on that knee after the 2018 season. Of course, the problems don’t seem nearly as serious this time, as Altuve is back after spending the minimum amount of time on the shelf.
The hope for Houston, which is a disappointing 23-24 and clinging to a playoff spot, is that Altuve will serve as a key late-season reinforcement. Altuve, for his part, is surely trying to end the season with a flourish after struggling before his absence. The 30-year-old’s a five-time .300 hitter and a three-time 2o-home run man, but he has slashed just .224/.284/.322 with three homers through 155 plate appearances this season. The Astros turned to Aledmys Diaz and Jack Mayfield at the keystone when Altuve was out, but they’ve also logged underwhelming production this year.