The Astros have been rather vague with their timeline for Alex Bregman’s return from the injured list, but manager Dusty Baker said in an appearance on Sports Talk 790 today that he doesn’t expect Bregman back for at least another month (Twitter link).
Injury updates on Bregman have been handled somewhat clumsily from the beginning. The third baseman himself initially said there was no timetable, which isn’t particularly surprising, but he also added at the time of the injury that he wasn’t sure whether he was dealing with a Grade 1 or Grade 2 strain of his hamstring. Last week, Baker told reporters that the expectation was for Bregman to be out “two to three works or more,” and while today’s statement doesn’t technically invalidate that tentative timeline, it certainly paints a more pessimistic outlook with regard to Bregman’s return.
The first-place Astros have a 1.5-game lead over the second-place Athletics, so the absence of one of their best all-around players is a particularly notable blow. The 27-year-old Bregman is enjoying another strong year at the plate, hitting .275/.359/.428 with seven homers and 14 doubles through 262 plate appearances. That’s in line with last year’s production, but his bat has fallen off since 2019’s ridiculous .296/.423/.592, 41-homer showing that earned him a second-place finish in AL MVP voting.
With Bregman sidelined, the Astros have turned to young Abraham Toro to handle the bulk of the work at the hot corner. The 24-year-old Toro has ranked as one of Houston’s better prospects for the past few years, and after a rough showing at the plate early in the season, he’s returned from Triple-A with a .294/.385/.471 in 39 plate appearances. That follows up on a massive .352/.485/.593 performance in 68 Triple-A plate appearances.