UPDATE: According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, Altuve told Astros manager Bo Porter than he thinks he can play Tuesday. Perhaps they’ll rest him just to be on the safe side, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll require a lengthy absence.
9:00 PM: Scary moment for the Astros tonight, as second baseman Jose Altuve suffered a subluxed right jaw following a collision with right fielder Jimmy Paredes in the second inning against the Tigers. By the way, subluxed is the technical term for partial dislocation.
The collision occurred when Altuve ran into shallow right field to track down a fly ball off the bat of Jhonny Peralta. The diminutive second baseman tracked the ball all the way before running right into the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Paredes and falling to the ground in pain. The severity of the injury isn’t yet known, but he could be seen grabbing at the right side of his face when he got to his feet and walked off the field.
Altuve has easily been the Astros’ best player so far this season, so losing him for any length of time would be a tough blow. The 23-year-old is batting .333/.371/.444 with two home runs, 18 RBI, four stolen bases and an .816 OPS through 38 games.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.