Astros News: Yordan Alvarez’s absence, injury updates

Houston Astros, Yordan Alvarez (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros, Yordan Alvarez (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

We learned more about Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez’s absence.

After missing all of summer camp and the first few weeks of the season, Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez finally rejoined the team on Friday. The team had never confirmed what was keeping him away, but most assumed it was related to COVID-19. Now Alvarez himself has confirmed that he did test positive for the virus.

Alvarez told the media on Friday that he tested positive for the coronavirus a couple of days before summer camp began, but his only symptoms were some headaches. He said his wife tested positive as well but was asymptomatic. Thankfully, his young daughter did not appear to contract COVID-19 at all.

The news that Alvarez had the virus isn’t all that surprising given his lengthy absence and the team’s refusal to give a specific reason. Still, it’s interesting that he’s confirmed as much, and it’s good that he and his family were largely without symptoms.

There’s not been much news on the state of his knees, which were bothering him in Spring Training and throughout last season as well. Hopefully the extended rest has done some good on that front, though manager Dusty Baker has said he has no plans to use Alvarez in the field this season.

Verlander, Osuna Coming Along

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We recently had confirmation that injured ace Justin Verlander and closer Roberto Osuna are going to attempt to return this season despite speculation that they might need Tommy John surgery. Baker offered a few more details on Friday as to how they’re doing.

Apparently they’re both working out at Methodist Hospital in Houston. Verlander told Baker that he feels “very good,” and Baker said he’s been working exceptionally hard. He also said Osuna is doing well, so perhaps there’s a chance they can both contribute at some point down the stretch.

The capacity in which they could contribute is still up in the air. There’s no way to know if Verlander could rejoin the rotation or if he’ll need to pitch in relief. The way things are going, he could be needed more in the bullpen. If Osuna doesn’t make it, could Verlander close? That would be something to see.

Regardless, it’ll be a while before either would be ready to get back on a big league mound. So have patience, Astros fans. Hopefully some rookies will continue to step up and keep the team afloat and in the playoff race this season.