2:20pm: The Astros announced that outfielder Yordan Alvarez has been placed on the 10-day injured list with right oblique discomfort. The Astros are in Cleveland tonight but he will head back to Houston for further evaluation. The corresponding move isn’t publicly known at this time.
Alvarez was removed from yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays due to this oblique issue. It’s still unknown exactly how serious it is, with the further testing hopefully shedding more light on it, but he’ll now be on the shelf for at least 10 days.
Time will tell how significant his absence will be, but the Astros will undoubtedly be worse off for whatever that length ultimately proves to be. Alvarez is one of the premiere hitters in the league, having hit .293/.384/.588 in his career for a wRC+ of 164. He has been right in line with that kind of production this year, having hit 17 home runs already while slashing .272/.384/.579 for a wRC+ of 165.
Injuries have been a focus of the Astros in 2023 as Michael Brantley has been out all year, Jose Altuve has missed significant time and the pitching staff has had a handful of notable absences as well. Despite all of that, they are still 36-27 and hanging onto a Wild Card spot, though they are just half a game ahead of the Blue Jays at the moment. Losing the potent bat of Alvarez will create another challenge for the club going forward.
Alvarez has played 22 games in left field this year but has otherwise been serving as the designated hitter. Without Alvarez or Brantley, the club will have Kyle Tucker, Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers and Corey Julks in the outfield mix and could potentially rotate those players through the DH slot now, though the corresponding move could also put another player into that mix as well.