Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve will begin a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Sugar Land, the team announced. Here’s what you need to know:
The Athleticquick analysis:
When will Altuve be back?
Altuve beat every benchmark during his recovery from thumb surgery — and now there’s a concrete timeline for his return. Position players are only allowed to remain on a minor league rehab assignment for 20 days. Twenty days from Friday is May 31. There’s a chance Altuve won’t need all 20 days in Triple-A, but the runway is there for him to get as many at-bats as he needs. The Space Cowboys are at home at Constellation Field this weekend before traveling to Oklahoma City for a six-game series from May 15-22. — Rome
What will Altuve do during his rehab stint?
Altuve’s performance in batting practice at T-Mobile Park last weekend surprised many of his coaches and teammates. Hitting coach Alex Cintrón said Altuve’s swings are some of the best he’s ever seen in batting practice. Bench coach Joe Espada called Altuve “game ready.” Altuve left the team after the Mariners series and spent most of this week facing live pitching at Constellation Field — the home ballpark of Triple-A Sugar Land. He puts balls on the ground, throws hard and runs the bases with padding in his right hand. Some of the obstacles he has left to clear may just come in games, though. Catching hard-hit ground balls, sliding with full intensity and diving back to first base on pickoff throws are among the many small details Altuve will experience for the first time during his assignment. in rehab. — Rome
(Photo: Erik Williams / USA Today)