Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez will miss the remainder of the 2020 season.
What many fans had been fearing has unfortunately come to fruition. Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker confirmed on Wednesday that Yordan Alvarez, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, will undergo knee surgery next week and miss the remainder of the 2020 season.
Alvarez has been having knee troubles dating back to last year, and they flared up in Spring Training and again after he’d appeared in just his second regular season game on Saturday. Baker said the surgery will repair a partially torn patella tendon in his right knee. Per the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia).”
There’s no word yet on whether he’s expected to be ready for Spring Training, but the presumption is he would be. It’s been a rough 2020 for the young slugger, who dealt with a bout of COVID-19 during summer camp and then succumbed to his knee troubles after appearing in only two regular season games. At least we’ll have that three-run homer in his first at-bat of the season to remember.
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Losing Alvarez is going to hurt. He burst onto the scene by hitting .313/.412/.655 with 26 doubles, 27 homers and 78 RBIs in only 87 games last season, and that type of production is not easily replaced. The Astros offense is already struggling, and this isn’t going to help.
For the time being, rookie Taylor Jones seems primed to get some DH at-bats, and Michael Brantley will be getting many of them upon his return from the Injured List. Whenever Aledmys Diaz comes back, he will probably get some of those starts as well.
Simply put, other players are going to have to step up. Jose Altuve and George Springer have gotten off to slow starts, as have youngsters Kyle Tucker, Myles Straw and Abraham Toro. The team’s pitching has done surprisingly well considering all the injuries, but the offense is going to have to figure out how to score without one of its key sluggers.
The good news is Alvarez should be back in 2021, and hopefully this means his knee issues will be behind him. If so, it’ll be interesting to see just how he plays without knee discomfort constantly nagging at him. Opposing pitchers beware.