The Houston Astros activated second baseman Jose Altuve and left fielder Yordan Alvarez off the injured list ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers, the team announced. Here’s what you need to know:
- Alvarez has missed 39 games. Altuve has been absent for 60 games this year after suffering two separate injuries, including straining his left oblique on July 4.
- They have not started a game together since June 8, the day Alvarez suffered a right oblique strain on a swing against the Toronto Blue Jays.
- David Hensley and Bligh Madris were optioned as corresponding moves.
- Houston enters Wednesday’s series finale at 58-44 and sits second in the American League West behind the Rangers.
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
How the Astros fared without Altuve and Alvarez
Wednesday is the Astros’ 103rd game of the season. It will be just the 14th time Altuve and Alvarez have been in the lineup together. Somehow, Houston has still inched within one game of the Rangers in the AL West standings, a testament to some stellar substitute work by Mauricio Dubón at second base and Yainer Diaz at designated hitter.
Alvarez went on the injured list on June 9, and the Astros’ lineup hit .252, sported a .756 OPS and averaged five runs per game in his absence. Only nine lineups had a higher OPS during that span. Only seven scored more runs. — Rome
Did Altuve have a rehab assignment?
On Tuesday afternoon, Altuve made it clear he did not want to go on a minor-league rehab assignment despite missing almost a month of action. General manager Dana Brown honored Altuve’s wishes but did hint that the eight-time All-Star could need to exercise caution during his first few games back.
“For the veterans, it doesn’t bother me one bit,” Brown said of not sending Altuve on a rehab assignment. “These guys are true professionals and Altuve is in really, really good shape. There’s no concern with that at all. And he knows that if he has to pull back, he can pull back.” — Rome
In 57 games this season, Alvarez, 26, has hit .277/.388/.589 with 55 RBIs and 17 home runs.
Altuve, 33, has notched 18 RBIs and six HRs while hitting .264/.371/.479 through 32 games.
(Photo: Troy Taormina / USA Today)