Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve underwent surgery to repair a fracture in his right thumb. According to team general manager Dana Brown, he will not begin baseball activities for at least two months.
A 96-mph fastball hit the 32-year-old Altuve from Daniel Bard in Venezuela’s game against the United States in the World Baseball Classic.
In a statement made by the Astros, Altuve had surgery in Houston and will stay there for the rest of the month. It’s likely that he won’t be ready to return to the lineup until late May or early June at the earliest.
The Astros’ remaining depth at second base includes Mauricio Dubon and David Hensley. Dubon hit .208 with five home runs in 243 at-bats last season. Hensley went 10-for-29 in 16 games last season. Dubon, who is expected to be the starter with Altuve out, is hitting .156 in 32 at-bats this spring. Hensley, who has served mostly as a DH this spring, is 8-for-30 with two home runs.
Altuve is coming off another excellent season for the defending World Series champions, hitting .300 with 28 home runs, 18 stolen bases, and a .921 OPS. Altuve has hit at least .300 in a season six times, leading the league in hitting in 2014, 2016, and 2017. He led the league in hits four straight years, surpassing 200 hits each season.
The 2017 AL MVP has 1935 career hits and 192 home runs with a batting average of .307. He will be a big piece missing from the Astros lineup. However, the Astros have tremendous firepower and the best pitching staff in the American League. Altuve will be missed, but the Astros have enough to stay afloat and make a run in the last two-thirds of a season with Altuve back in the lineup.