Kirk Nieuwenhuis left yesterday’s game against the Marlins after he hurt his left knee on a head-first slide into second base, but he received some encouraging news today. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Nieuwenhuis was diagnosed with a bone bruise and doesn’t have any ligament damage.
While it appears that Nieuwenhuis managed to avoid a serious injury, he was still limping badly this afternoon and estimates that he could miss anywhere from a few days to a week. The hope is that anti-inflammatories will get him back on the field soon.
Nieuwenhuis, who is trying to secure the starting center fielder job, batted .252/.315/.376 with seven home runs, 28 RBI, four stolen bases and a .691 OPS in 91 games with the Mets last season. The 25-year-old had just one hit over his first 18-bats this spring prior to the injury. Collin Cowgill, Matt den Dekker and Jordany Valdespin are among the alternatives for center field.
It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.
Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:
He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.
Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”
During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.