UPDATE: Well, this is a relief. According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, Astros manager Bo Porter said that X-rays came back negative and that Altuve is considered day-to-day.
10:56 p.m. ET: Troubling development for the Astros, as Julia Morales of CSNHouston.com passes along word that second baseman Jose Altuve exited tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the seventh inning after he was hit in the right hand/wrist area while squaring to bunt.
Altuve appeared to be in a lot of pain as he walked off the field with team trainers. No word yet on his status, but Astros fans will have to hope that he didn’t suffer the same fate as Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock, who fractured his right hand on a similar play on May 31 and is expected to be sidelined through the end of July.
Altuve returned to the lineup tonight after missing yesterday with a minor injury to his left oblique. The 24-year-old is hitting .319 through 67 games this season and leads the majors with 90 hits. He ranks first in the American League with 24 stolen bases.
Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).
Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.
Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.
Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.