Sept. 4: Altuve is considered day-to-day after undergoing an MRI, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets. The exact diagnosis isn’t clear, although that certainly suggests he’s avoided a major injury.
Sept. 3: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve will undergo an MRI on his right knee, manager Dusty Baker announced Thursday (via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com). Altuve exited the Astros’ game against the Rangers on Thursday because of discomfort in the area.
Right knee problems aren’t anything new for Altuve, who underwent surgery on the joint after the 2018 season. The former AL MVP bounced back with another highly productive season last year, helping the Astros to a pennant, but has endured uncharacteristic struggles in 2020. So far, Altuve has amassed 155 plate appearances and batted .231/.290/.329 with three home runs and two stolen bases. His 74 wRC+ pales in comparison to the 141 mark he combined for during the previous six seasons.
Despite Altuve’s slow start, it goes without saying the Astros would rather have him out there than not, especially considering he has been their almost exclusive choice at second this season. Furthermore, although the Astros improved to 21-15 on Thursday and are in possession of the AL’s second wild-card spot, they’ve already suffered enough serious injuries to this point. The club has gone extended stretches without Justin Verlander, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Roberto Osuna and Jose Urquidy, who – along with several other Astros – are on the IL right now. Verlander and Osuna may not return this year, while Alvarez definitely won’t after undergoing surgery on both knees.