Jose Altuve is headed to the 10-day disabled list with right knee discomfort, the Astros announced Saturday. Altuve hasn’t made an appearance in the lineup since he was pulled from Wednesday’s game against the Rockies, but it looks like it’ll take more than a couple days of rest to get him back on his feet. While a timetable for his return to the team has yet to be revealed, the move is retroactive to July 26, so the second baseman could return as soon as August 5 if he makes a quick recovery. A corresponding assignment will be made on Sunday.
This is Altuve’s first DL assignment in eight major league seasons. He isn’t anywhere close to the career numbers he posted in 2017, but that isn’t saying much: He’s batting a robust .329/.392/.464 with nine home runs, 14 stolen bases, and a league-leading 134 hits through 454 plate appearances. He went 1-for-2 with a double during Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Rockies, but was forced to make an early exit in the fourth inning after experiencing some pain in his right knee. The injury occurred several days earlier on a bad slide into third base.
It’s a double whammy for the Astros, who are scheduled to go into Sunday’s finale without Altuve or Carlos Correa. Correa landed on the 10-day disabled list with lower back soreness on June 29 and has yet to return to the field. He fielded ground balls on Saturday — the most progress he’s made to date, according to club manager A.J. Hinch — but has not been cleared for a rehab assignment and doesn’t seem to be close to resuming his post at short anytime soon.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.