Kyle Tucker The Latest Astros Player With Injury Concerns Heading Into Opening Day

World Baseball Classic Quarterfinals: United States v Venezuela
World Baseball Classic Quarterfinals: United States v Venezuela / Gene Wang/GettyImages

Kyle Tucker returns to Astros' camp to get his ankle examined

The hits just keep coming for the Astros outfield. Yesterday all but confirmed Michael Brantley will open the season on the Injured List. Yordan Alvarez still plans to be ready for Opening Day, but is running out of time to get game ready (Alvarez will debut in the Grapefruit League tomorrow). After the injury to Jose Altuve, it's likely Mauricio Dubon will get most of his reps at second base. Houston couldn't afford to have another outfielder go down.

While not a serious long-term concern, Kyle Tucker did suffer an ankle injury in the World Baseball Classic after fouling a ball off of himself. The injury kept Tucker out of the lineup in Team USA's final against Team Japan, a crushing blow for the American lineup Tucker hit .333 in the WBC with a 1.086 OPS. It's possible he would have made the difference in a one-run final against Team Japan.

Tucker returns to Astros camp today and will have his ankle examined by their training staff. According to Chandler Rome, Dusty Baker said Tucker is doing better, but they want Houston's staff to check him out as well, as was the case with Altuve's injury.

The Astros simply can't lose another outfielder this early in the season. While they are still the AL West favorites, an improved Mariners team isn't one to be overlooked. Already without lineup stalwarts like Altuve and Brantley, and without a proven starter in McCullers, Houston needs Tucker's bat and glove in the lineup.

He should be good to go for Opening Day, and if that's the case, Houston likely sends out Chas McCormick in left, Jake Meyers in center and King Tuck in right with Yordan as the DH. If Tucker for whatever reason isn't good to go, Justin Dirden likely finds his way into the Opening Day lineup as the right fielder.