TODAY: Bregman is “not ready yet,” Baker said during a radio interview on SportsTalk 790 (hat tip to Chandler Rome of The Houston Chronicle). The third baseman is “taking a couple days off to get some treatment” and will then presumably return to his minor league rehab assignment, with Baker hopeful Bregman can return to the Astros within 7-10 days.
AUGUST 8: Alex Bregman was in Houston today watching the Astros in action, and an official return to the field might not be far away. Manager Dusty Baker told reporters (including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart) that Bregman was meeting with the team after playing nine innings in each of his last two rehab games with Triple-A Sugar Land.
A left quad strain sent Bregman to the 10-day injured list back on June 17, so it will be just shy of a two-month absence for the third baseman if he is indeed activated this week. The Astros have a two-game series with the Rockies sandwiched between off-days on Monday and Thursday this week, and if Bregman is already in Houston, it would hint that he could be reinstated from the IL as early as Tuesday.
Between his quad issue and a week-long absence in April due to COVID-19 protocols, Bregman has played in only 59 games this season, but he has still been productive in hitting .275/.359/.428 over 262 plate appearances. This roughly matches his slash line over 180 PA in 2020, as Bregman was hampered by a hamstring injury last year and limited to 44 games of the 60-game regular season. While a big step down from his MVP-caliber numbers in 2018 and 2019, Bregman is certainly still a dangerous bat when healthy, and his return will help bolster a Houston team that has its eyes on more postseason success.
While Bregman’s probable return is good news for the Astros, the club also had some more injury scares in today’s 7-5 loss to the Twins. The Astros announced that Michael Brantley was removed for precautionary reasons after a blow to the head during a collision with Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons while running the bases early in the game. Brantley, in the lineup as the DH, was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the third inning.
In the eighth, Rafael Montero had to depart one pitch into a Rob Refsnyder plate appearance. Entering the game in the previous inning, Montero retired his first five batters before walking Miguel Sano, and then picking up some type of injury against Refsnyder. Post-game, Baker said Montero was suffering from some shoulder soreness, and will receive further examination by the team’s medical staff.