The Astros are likely to be cautious with their All-Star third baseman over the coming days.
During the Astros‘ comeback victory over the Yankees on Tuesday, Alex Bregman removed himself from the game due to an injury to his right hamstring while on the base paths. In turn, the club’s third baseman will miss Wednesday’s finale against the Yankees. The Astros are off Thursday before heading to Seattle for the start of a seven-game, nine-day road trip.
It doesn’t sound as if the hamstring injury is a serious one. Jeff Luhnow described the strain as a “low grade” on SportsTalk 790 with Sean Salisbury on Wednesday morning. It is possible that Bregman could play this weekend in Seattle. Hamstrings, however, are tricky to come back from. If he is out for an extended amount of time, Bregman’s absence would definitely be felt in the lineup. For context, he has posted a .928 OPS exclusively as the number three hitter this season.
The Astros are covered in the short term with Aledmys Diaz and Yuli Gurriel as both are listed as backup third third baseman on the club’s online depth chart. Odds are that Diaz will receive the bulk of the playing time at the hot corner as long as Bregman is out. Also, Tyler White may see more playing time at first base if Gurriel fills in across the diamond on occasion.
We could see the return of AJ Reed, who is currently on the 40-man roster, if Bregman requires a stay on the IL. With the upcoming off-days in the near future, I don’t foresee the club recalling a pitcher listed on the 40-man roster and the outfield doesn’t have room right now for Kyle Tucker or Derek Fisher. The Astros could transition Tony Kemp back to the infield to make room for another outfielder, but I don’t see that occurring right away.
There are only 38 players listed on the 40-man roster, so we could also see someone like infielder Nick Tanielu join the club to provide some depth relief in any event of an IL designation. While the ideal is not to see Bregman on the IL, it would be better to make sure he is healthy for the entire season. After all, this is only April, and hamstrings aren’t always easy to recover from.