Injuries continue to pile up for the Phillies, as Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that center fielder Shane Victorino has left the team in Florida and traveled back to Philadelphia to have his thumb examined by a hand specialist.
Victorino injured his thumb Sunday and missed yesterday’s game while wearing a protective sleeve, with Michael Martinez filling in for him in a 1-0 victory.
Zolecki writes that the current plan is for Victorino to rejoin the Phillies in time for tomorrow night’s game in Florida, but obviously that will depend on what the specialist determines today and in the meantime they’ve added John Mayberry Jr. to the roster as an extra outfielder.
Philadelphia’s disabled list is already packed with pitchers Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, Brad Lidge, Joe Blanton, and Roy Oswalt, plus third baseman Placido Polanco has been struggling to play through back problems for two months now, but losing Victorino would really hurt. He leads the team in batting average (.303), on-base percentage (.376), slugging percentage (.524), OPS (.900), and runs (53) in addition to his usual defensive value in what has been the best season of his career so far.
Astros’ star second baseman José Altuve underwent surgery on his right knee, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports. Neither the specifics of the surgery nor a concrete timetable for the infielder’s recovery have been officially confirmed by the club yet.
Altuve, 28, suffered the injury in July after he jammed his knee on a close play at third base. Even after he completed an initial 3.5-week stint on the 10-day disabled list, chronic knee pain continued to dog him in the months that followed. As manager A.J. Hinch told reporters on Thursday, he would have held the second baseman out of the lineup under any other circumstances, but instead chose to commend Altuve for showing up and pushing through the pain as the Astros tried for a repeat championship title this postseason.
Per McTaggart, the Astros expect Altuve to make a full recovery by spring. The perennial All-Star infielder finished his 2018 run with a .316/.386/.451 batting line, 13 home runs, and an .837 OPS through 599 plate appearances. He fared slightly worse during Houston’s ALDS and ALCS campaigns, slashing .265/.324/.412 with three extra-base hits over 37 PA. The Astros were eliminated by the Red Sox during Thursday’s 4-1 loss in ALCS Game 5.