Yordan Alvarez Set For Spring Training Debut in Return to Astros Lineup
By Alec Brown
Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez set to make Grapefruit League debut
The smile in the cover photo for this piece is likely the same one being worn by Astros fan across the globe--Yordan Alvarez is back.
The third-place finisher for the AL MVP last season and playoff hero for the Astros will make his Grapefruit League debut this evening. Alvarez has been sidelined after the hand injury that cost him parts of the 2022 season flared up. He only recently began taking swings on the field during batting practice.
Alvarez had said all along he planned to be ready for Opening Day, and this is a key step towards such a thing occurring.
He will make his debut against Trevor Williams of the Washington Nationals, and he'll have little time to settle in, with Alvarez batting leadoff. We just ranked the potential leadoff hitters while Altuve is sidelines, though Yordan didn't make said list. I wouldn't anticipate the big man batting first once the season opens, as his power and run production is too valuable with runners on base, though it makes sense for Dusty Baker and the club to try to get Alvarez as many game reps as possible in the week leading up to Opening Day.
Also of note, he will be playing left. Initial plans for the season had Alvarez playing left while Michael Brantley was primarily a DH, but Alvarez' injury woes had jeopardized such a thing. It is reassuring he will patrol left. With Kyle Tucker out of the lineup, Jake Meyers will still man center field while Chas McCormick slides over to right field.
David Hensley will DH for Houston while Mauricio Dubon plays second in the place of the injured Altuve.
With Seattle continuing to improve, Houston needs to be as healthy as possible to make a run at another AL West title. Getting Alvarez back into the lineup is a huge step in such a thing occurring.