Yordan Alvarez left Friday’s game in the fifth inning due to shortness of breath, and went to a local hospital for examination later that evening. Both the Astros and manager Dusty Baker addressed the situation today, saying that Alvarez was released from hospital after tests revealed nothing abnormal, and the slugger was even back at the ballpark today, though he wasn’t in the starting lineup for the Astros’ game against the Braves.
Baker even suggested that Alvarez could play on Sunday, though “We still have to watch him. He’s still under (something) similar to a concussion protocol,” the manager told The Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome and other reporters. “You don’t want him to maybe fall out. They couldn’t find anything, but that don’t mean nothing’s wrong. We’re just going to wait today, see how he is tomorrow.”
Any sort of breathing issue is naturally cause for concern, though it is a very good sign that Alvarez’s initial round of testing and observation didn’t reveal any more serious problem. It could be that Alvarez was affected by playing in Atlanta in particular, with Baker noting that there is more smoke than usual in the atmosphere due to Truist Park’s tradition of shooting fireworks every time a Braves player homers, or every time a Braves pitcher records a strikeout.
Alvarez is also working through his first real slump of the 2022 season, as he has only one home run and a .572 OPS over his last 78 plate appearances. However, even with his cold streak, Alvarez is still batting .295/.400/.612 for the season, and his 31 homers ties him for the third-highest total in baseball. The season has cemented Alvarez as one of the game’s top hitters, and he will be a major factor for the Astros as they try to capture the World Series.