Following their 11-4 rout of the Rangers on Saturday night, the Astros officially placed second baseman José Altuve on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. Altuve was removed from Friday’s game with some soreness in his left hamstring and was unable to take the field again on Saturday, though comments from manager A.J. Hinch suggested that he’s dealing with a very mild injury.
While a concrete timetable for the infielder’s return has not been announced, it’s hard to believe he’ll need more than the minimum 10 days to make a complete recovery. Even so, Hinch added that the team still doesn’t know the full extent of Altuve’s injury and will have him meet with doctors at least one more time in the days to come.
In the meantime, he’ll be temporarily replaced by Aledmys Díaz and Yuli Gurriel at the keystone. Díaz handled the position in Altuve’s absence during Friday and Saturday’s games, and went 1-for-7 against the Rangers with a grand slam that helped power the team to a 3-0 series lead. The Astros will turn to Díaz a third time during Sunday’s series finale, as rookie Corbin Martin makes his MLB debut versus the Rangers’ Adrian Sampson at 2:10 PM EDT.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.