Astros: Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy cleared to start training

Houston Astros players Yordan Alvarez and Jose Urquidy are cleared to begin training.

After weeks with basically no news, we finally have something good to report. Houston Astros players Yordan Alvarez and Jose Urquidy, both of whom have been sidelined due to undisclosed issues, have been cleared to resume baseball activities. They’ll report to Corpus Christi to train with the alternate site players and will remain on the Injured List in the meantime.

There’s no firm timetable on when they’ll be ready to join the team, but it won’t be anytime soon. Since neither player managed to get any work in during summer camp, it will be at least a few weeks before they’re game ready. Still, it’s the first bit of positive news we’ve gotten about either player in a while.

Alvarez burst onto the scene last season by hitting .313/.412/.655 with 27 homers and 78 RBIs in 87 games and capturing the AL Rookie of the Year award. He’d been bothered by knee troubles in Spring Training but the Astros haven’t said whether his absence this summer is related to that. Regardless, the 23-year-old will hopefully provide a jolt to the lineup upon his return.

The last time we saw Urquidy, he was tossing five scoreless innings in Game Four of the World Series, then recording another two outs in Game Seven. He put up a 3.95 ERA in 41 major league innings last year and was expected to be the team’s No. 4 starter this year. Hopefully he’ll be available to join the rotation later on if needed.

Like Alvarez, we don’t know what’s been keeping Urquidy off the field. Considering the fact that the team offered absolutely no details as to why these two players were missing in action, the presumption would be that their absence was COVID-19 related. Teams can’t disclose that type of information about a player unless the player consents.

Regardless, it’s good to see that the team has cleared them to return to baseball. They’ll need some time to get up to speed, but there are further reinforcements on the way for the Astros.