After undergoing thumb surgery in late March, Jose Altuve was estimated for roughly a two-month recovery period before he could resume baseball activities. However, Astros GM Dana Brown gave a positive update on Altuve today, telling The Athletic’s Jim Bowden (Twitter link) that Altuve is “ahead of schedule” in his rehab. Altuve is showing “great movement” in his injured thumb, and Brown said the second baseman “will get an x-ray in 12 days or so to see how the thumb is healing, but [it] appears that it’s healing very well.”
If the x-rays are clean on Brown’s loose target date of May 5, that would seemingly imply that Altuve might be able to start baseball activities shortly thereafter. Some minor league rehab action would be necessary to get Altuve back up to full game readiness, but it all goes well, Altuve might be more in line for a return by closer to the middle of May than his initial early-June estimate.
It should be noted that the Astros placed Altuve on the 10-day injured list rather than the 60-day IL to begin the season, thus leaving the door open for Altuve to potentially return earlier than expected. A 60-day IL placement would have kept Altuve out until the very end of May, and even if Houston does eventually shift Altuve to the 60-day in the event of a setback or if he needs more ramp-up time, his 60-day clock would still have a retroactive start date of Opening Day.
The prospect of a quick Altuve return is great news for the Astros, who have still posted a respectable 12-10 record even without their longtime star (and also with Michael Brantley and Lance McCullers Jr. sidelined by injury). Mauricio Dubon has stepped into the everyday second base job in Altuve’s absence and hit .329/.350/.382 over 80 plate appearances, delivering a 108 wRC+ despite a lack of power. Dubon’s ability to hold the fort has been a nice relief for Houston, and answered some preseason concerns over whether or not the Astros were lacking in bench depth.
I know this comment is relatively unrelated to this story, however I was wondering if any of you more plugged in baseball fans can tell me if this season(so far) has been much more injury riddled than previous years? I feel like every story this season has been about an injury of some sort!
Relatively unrelated as opposed to what, just plain unrelated?
No, there are lots of injuries every season.
I haven’t looked at any official data but to me, it’s not so much just this year but it seems that players have become more injury prone starting in the 2010s and it seems to be getting worse.
The rules changed in 2011. Last season, the Tigers, starting pitching staff and their replacements 2 deep were on the IL.
The season before, 2021, the Twins and Indians were decimated. I think the 2012 BoSox never had their starting team all on the field all season.
To date, every team has at least two impact players on the IL and many have three or more.
C Yards Jeff
IMO, more beefed up athletes through exercise activity and diet these days playing professional sports, not just baseball, may be the culprit. Not many throw back less chiseled body types playing professional sports these days. Do some image searches of pro athletes from the 70s/80s to see difference, in particular NBA athletes (because of less clothing.)
Total agree! Athletes evolved but not fully. Increased mass and acceleration equals more stressful force on soft tissues. Plus so much faster pitches. Altuve in 1972 hit by a 87mph fastball does not shatter a thumb like 95 plus in 2023.
The truth always lays somewhere in-between.
Sure, one could point out training, diet, the fact players are more explosive and the fact hitters swing more aggressively, pitchers actively try to throw harder but there is a lot more as well.
First, I think you see a lot of cluster injuries do to training trends. All the recent oblique injuries probably has to do with either a training trend or a different trending swing.
Second, you have a longer post season and the Season starts sooner. Less recovery time and a faster ramp up.
Third, season is longer, that more reps, more swings in the batting cage, at the plate, more tosses on your arm etc.
Fourth, heavier travel. MLB is trying to maximize their footprint and fan experience. It causes a lot of travel and travel is hard on the body. Sure athletes do not fly coach but I fly a lot of private and business and it’s still brutal on my body. Dry recycled air, messed up sleep patterns, unnatural body positions.
Fifth, guaranteed contracts. I’m the past players were more apt to play hurt because they didn’t have free agency, they didn’t have guaranteed contracts, they didn’t make a ton of money and there was an expectation that players should play 156 games.
Sixth, players are so wealthy, teams invest so heavily, that they prevent them from doing manual labor, playing other sports, doing certain activities that work all those stabilizing muscles.
I’m sure there are several more reasons and this is just part of the iceberg. It’s not “because of X there is Z” you can run through the entire alphabet and still come up with several more reasons.
@drasco036: It’s important to note that prior to the advent of free agency c. 1975, players didn’t have guaranteed contracts because the owners illegally used the reserve clause to control and underpay players for the better part of a century. Not exactly a halcyon era.
C Yards Jeff
@D36: cool reflection on this. Ya got me thinking.
Especially liked “…trying to maximize their footprint and fan experience”. Translation to me: to grow wealthy; there needs to be a “meat market” component and the players are the “meat” or maybe “sacrificial lamb” of this component to achieve maximum wealth for the exes and owners. Yes?
Of course. And per my post, they had a much easier time of it before the great Marvin Miller and free agency came along.
It’s difficult to think of injuries as a positive, in this case however it may help a few aging players be fresher towards the end of the season. As for McCullers, trips to the DL are just par for the course. Hopefully he’ll get 100 innings and a sub-3.00 ERA.
Too bad though, Astros have the end of almost dynasty. This year ends after 162 games because front office talent left for more money and better life in place not hot! Houston! Oh no, gotta pay doubke salaries because air conditioning doesn’t cut it! Haha. I kid you! Go Altuve, we’ll welcome you back alot!
Dumpster Divin Theo
Kind of a bummer. Have to see the Astros and their fans cheated out of the opportunity to have one of their key guys going. Guess life isn’t fair sometimes
I just muted two more trolls.
Vince Ferragamo's Dog
Don’t describe yourself too much – we may guess who you are
Good for Dubon………he is a good guy and great teammate……..
Some people call him Maricio, cause he speaks of the pompitous of love.
Solid bench player with a great attitude
It’s good news that Altuve could be ahead of schedule. He is such a professional and great talent. The Astros look forward to his leadership on the field. Good luck with your recovery and return to the diamond.
Can’t wait for him to return to help push the Astros to back-to-back championships.
A fraud and human garbage. The only update here is that he still lacks honor and makes decisions of low character.
Human garbage? Based on what? What an awful thing to say about such a positive person on and off the field adored by teammates, opposing players, and fans
Based on the fact he has not only defrauded all the individuals you have mentioned, but also has continued on without contrition to portray himself in such a positive light. He is a charlatan of the highest order and a truly evil person.
This Nottinghamforest guy is such a dweeb lmao
Who did he defraud? If the Astros were the only team doing it I could see your point or if Altuve took part I could see your point. But neither of those statements are true. They were one of 30 teams doing it and Altuve was not one of the players on the team using it.
You have a poor definition of evil. Go touch grass and think about things that are important in this world
If sign stealing in baseball is truly evil to you, well my man, you don’t know true evil – and may you continue to lead this blessed, sheltered life of yours.
Just because some teams got caught, please don’t extrapolate it out to all teams, unless you can back it up with facts, not conjecture.
Are you new to baseball, Styme? Baseball has a rich history of cheating and being a copy-cat league (players take stuff from places they were to the new place they go, see Beltran bringing sign stealing from New York to Houston). Every team had their own scheme, however not every player on every team took part. It is no different than the sticky stuff, greenies, and the PED era. Every team had juiced up players, but not everyone was on PEDs. If one team was doing something, they all were. The fact some think only Houston, New York, and Boston were the only teams doing it is asinine. It’s not conjecture when it based off historical facts and comments from many players not on the Astros. There is way too much money at stake for players to not use every advantage possible (bending the rules included).
If you get caught speeding, it doesn’t matter what anyone else was doing. Houston got caught not just speeding, but going 160 mph in a school zone.
They were in a group 30 that were doing the same speed limit – they just pulled over for the officer when he turned his lights on, while the rest got away.
Fans who make excuses only make the scandal worse.
Not making any excuses. I’m just simply correctly stating they were the fall team. You should be thanking them for taking the fall so your favorite team didn’t have to.
I’m sure you’re a perfect human being.
Stop bringing twitter energy to MLBTR. The ones throwing stones the loudest online are often the most hypocritical. Human garbage, really?
Didn’t read the article. The fun lies in the comments.
So in 2017, that thing buzzing under his jersey was just electrotherapy. Got it.
And here I thought we were over the ridiculous Buzzer thing and jokes.
Jokes will always happen. It’s the Astros 2017 legacy.
I get that some of my fellow Yankees fans still hate Altuve, but the reality of the matter is that the Astros won their last WS bc they are an extremely efficient franchise with an outstanding front office. They’re locking up their young stars and drafting exceptionally well. Time to let it go guys. The “buzzer” jokes are getting stale. If you want to be upset at anyone it’s Manfred.
Also, if you want to hold resentment over anything in the past it’s the 2001, 2003 WS losses and the 2004 ALCS catastrophic collapse.
Motor City Beach Bum
Altuve is hurt. Time to trade for Jonathan Schoop 😉