The Houston Astros will get Jose Altuve and Blake Taylor back soon.
The Houston Astros may be struggling mightily on the field, but reinforcements are coming. Second baseman Jose Altuve and lefthanded reliever Blake Taylor are nearly ready to return, per manager Dusty Baker, and could be back for the team’s upcoming homestand.
Altuve hit in the batting cage on Saturday, and Baker said he looked good. He hasn’t played since injuring his knee on Sept. 3 and actually is in the midst of a four-game hit streak. There seems to be a real chance he returns this week, possibly against the Rangers at Minute Maid Park.
Taylor last pitched on Sept. 5 against the Angels and was placed on the Injured List due to elbow discomfort. There was concern about the severity of his injury after it was revealed he’d been hiding it from the team and trying to self-medicate.
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Thankfully, however, it appears he’s fine. Baker said Taylor will throw off a mound this weekend and explained that he isn’t sore or experiencing any discomfort, so he should be ready soon. He could be activated this week as well.
Boost for the Astros
Though Altuve has struggled at the plate this season, having him back in the lineup is obviously preferable. This will get the team’s starting lineup as close to full strength as it’s going to get with Yordan Alvarez out for the season.
Altuve has been hitting better lately, though he’s still not quite up to his usual standards. Regardless, getting him back in the lineup this week will ensure he has plenty of time to get back in sync before the playoffs begin.
Taylor is basically essential to the Astros bullpen, as he’s been their best relief pitcher so far this season. We noted how the team’s bullpen is currently looking for the postseason, and having Taylor back in the fold is a huge boost to a group that’s really been struggling lately.