HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) — The Astros’ infield logjam could temporarily work itself out, though not in a way they may have hoped.
Third baseman Luis Valbuena is day-to-day after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Yankees with a right hamstring strain.
Valbuena was running to first on a slow-rolling ground ball during the second inning and took an abrupt tumble to the turf just inside the baseline. Didi Gregorious’ errant throw didn’t matter, as Valbuena lay prone on the turf and was not moving.
Commentators and fans on Twitter briefly speculated that it was a far worse injury, such as an ACL tear, given Valbuena’s jarring faceplant. The infielder was able to walk off under his own power with a noticeable limp.
“I feel OK,” Valbuena said. “I’m going to wait for tomorrow and see how I feel, but I don’t think it’s that serious.”
Added manager A.J. Hinch: “I think it hurt, I think it scared him. I think he tripped more than he actually needed to go down to the ground. He’s not going to be in [the lineup] tomorrow. We have the off day on Thursday, so we’ll take a couple days and try to get him back on the weekend.”
Marwin Gonzalez, who started at first, shifted to third base in Valbuena’s absence. Somewhat surprisingly, catcher Jason Castro entered the game at first base in Gonzalez’s stead, as recent call-up Alex Bregman was the designated hitter on Tuesday.
“With Bregman at [designated hitter] and a short bench, that was a bind, for sure,” Hinch said.
If Valbuena misses significant time, Bregman would likely take the everyday job at third instead of rotating between third base, left field and designated hitter.
Valbeuna, in his second season with the Astros, has been enjoying a career year. The left-handed hitter entered the day batting .261 with an .818 OPS and 13 home runs. He has started 89 of Houston’s 99 games, including 79 at the hot corner.