Kyle Tucker's injury forces Astros to make difficult roster decision

Kyle Tucker's shin injury is worse than the Astros were hoping.
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

Ever since Kyle Tucker took a foul ball off his shin, it was a given that the Houston Astros were going to give him some time off. Even though his X-rays were negative after the injury, Tucker was in enough pain immediately afterwards that everyone knew he wasn't just going to bounce back the next morning.

The only real question was whether or not Tucker was going to need a stint on the injured list or just a couple games off. Houston did have a little wiggle room to make a decision as any IL stint could be retroactive by three days, but Friday's matchup against the Los Angeles Angels saw the Astros right fielder out of the lineup for the third straight game and a decision had to be made.

Ultimately, the Astros chose to play it safe and the decision was made to put Tucker on the injured list and recall rookie outfielder Joey Loperfido to take his place on the active roster.

Astros News: Kyle Tucker placed on the injured list, Joey Loperfido gets another opportunity

There are a couple of important notes here. First, Tucker was placed on the 10-day IL, so he will technically be eligible to return to action in a week given that the move was made retroactive. Given that the team is still calling the injury a right shin contusion, that does give hope that he won't be out for too long. That said, Tucker being on crutches on Friday night didn't exactly inspire the most confidence that he is going to immediately be able to hop back on the field.

While the Astros didn't seem to miss Tucker in their dominating win over the Angels on Friday thanks largely to Framber Valdez's complete game, this is still a pretty brutal loss. Tucker had been playing at an MVP level in 2024 and his injury threatens to derail what could have been a career-season for him. Without Tucker, the rest of the Astros' lineup is going to have to continue to step up.

This is also a great opportunity for Loperfido to prove himself once again. Loperfido's first look at the big leagues saw him slash .333/.381/.436. With Jose Abreu having just five hits to his name since returning to the Astros lineup at the end of May, Loperfido could once again make his case for a more big league playing time. While that may seem overly optimistic, we have to look for any silver linings we can here.

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