Oswaldo Arcia was Minnesota’s starting right fielder when he was shut down with a wrist injury during the first week of the season and now that he’s finally healthy six weeks later the Twins have decided to demote him to Triple-A.
It’s an odd move in part because Arcia spent most of last season in the majors and more than held his own, hitting .251 with 14 homers in 97 games for an above-average .734 OPS at age 22, and in part because with Josh Willingham also injured the Twins have been using light-hitting infielders like Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar in the outfield corners and are also giving lots of action to a seemingly washed-up Jason Kubel.
So instead of just sticking Arcia back in the lineup where he ended last season and began this season they’ll keep trotting out a patch-work outfield and force him to spend more time at Triple-A, where he’s hit .311 with a .978 OPS in 50 career games.
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.