6:20pm: Álvarez has not tested positive, manager Dusty Baker told reporters (including Brian McTaggart of MLB.com). He has traveled with the team to Seattle and could soon be activated, although Baker added he’d give Álvarez a couple days to get back into game shape before penciling him into the lineup.
5:45pm: The Astros have placed star outfielder/designated hitter Yordan Álvarez on the COVID-19 injured list, tweets Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. It isn’t clear whether Álvarez tested positive or is simply experiencing virus-like symptoms. Corner infielder Joe Perez has been recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land to take his spot on the active roster.
Álvarez hasn’t played since Sunday. He missed the Astros’ two-game set in Arizona this week with an illness that manager Dusty Baker characterized as a stomach bug. He’ll obviously miss tonight’s game against the Mariners at the very least, with the extent of his absence depending on whether he’s tested positive.
Under the league’s 2022 health-and-safety protocols, players who test positive are subject to a 10-day absence from the club, though it’s possible to be reinstated in less time if the player has gone 24 or more hours without a fever, received a pair of negative PCR tests, and been given approval from a team physician and the MLB/MLBPA joint committee (a panel of one league-appointed and one union-appointed physician). If Álvarez is “merely” dealing with symptoms, he could return in shorter order. Players who test negative can return once their symptoms dissipate, so long as they’re cleared by the joint committee and the team doctor.
Álvarez, of course, is one of the game’s best offensive players. The 24-year-old slugger is coming off a .277/.346/.531 showing with 33 home runs in 598 plate appearances. He hasn’t gotten off to a great start this year, collecting two hits and three walks in 17 trips to the dish over four games.