In a radio appearance today, Astros GM Dana Brown provided updates on the club’s pair of injured, lefty-swinging outfielders, as relayed by Chandler Rome of The Athletic and Mark Berman of Fox 26. Brown notes that there’s currently no timetable for the return of slugger Yordan Alvarez to Houston’s lineup, and that one isn’t expected to crystalize in the coming days, with the GM suggesting that it will take “at least a week” for the club to have confidence in a timetable for Alvarez. Any missed time for Alvarez is a severe blow to the Astros, as the slugger has posted another phenomenal season so far in 2023, slashing .277/.388/.589 in 57 games before hitting the injured list with what has been described as “right oblique discomfort.”
In more optimistic news, Brown notes that veteran outfielder Michael Brantley is making good progress in his rehab from shoulder inflammation after he was shut down last month. Brantley has yet to appear in a game this season after undergoing shoulder surgery last summer, but Brown notes that the veteran is playing catch and taking pain-free swings in the batting cage. While the update is certainly a positive one, it sounds as though Brantley is still a ways away from returning to the Astros, who would surely benefit from the boost the 36-year old could provide to their lineup.
More from around the AL…
- The Rays placed left-hander Josh Fleming on the 60-day injured list yesterday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times notes that Fleming is scheduled to meet with specialist Dr. Keith Meister later this week. When asked about the appointment, Fleming acknowledged to reporters that a ligament issue is possible, leaving a worst case scenario of Tommy John surgery on the table. That’s certainly a worrisome possibility for Tampa, as the club has seen their starting depth tested with as each of Jeffrey Springs, Drew Rasmussen, and Tyler Glasnow have spent significant portions of the season on the injured list.
- White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks was placed on the 15-day IL with elbow inflammation earlier today, temporarily halting the closer’s inspiring return to the big leagues following his recovery from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As relayed by James Fegan of The Athletic, GM Rick Hahn said that Hendriks’s current ailment has similarities to a flexor strain he dealt with last season that left him on the shelf for just under a month. The club is hopeful that this current injury will have a similar timeline, though Hendriks will undergo an MRI to confirm that timetable. After a difficult first outing back from the injured list, Hendriks has posted a 2.25 ERA with a save and three strikeouts in his last four appearances.
- The Athletics provided an update on right-hander Drew Rucinski, who has been on the injured list with a stomach illness since late last month. As noted by MLB.com’s Martin Gallegos, Rucinski’s stomach ailment has improved, but the right-hander is dealing with a low-grade MCL sprain in his right knee that occurred during a bullpen session. The injury will leave him shut down from throwing for 2 to 3 weeks. Rucinski signed with the A’s on a one-year deal with a club option for 2024 this past offseason, but has managed just four starts for the club, pitching to a 9.00 ERA in 18 innings of work with a whopping 14 walks allowed compared to jut six strikeouts.