Yordan Álvarez has been having hand issues this spring, and now it's casting some serious doubt on his Opening Day availability.
The Houston Astros star dealt with soreness in his hands throughout last season, and has not been swinging a bat throughout the spring training. Astros GM Dana Brown said Sunday he was hoping Álvarez would starting swinging Saturday, but that timeline already has been pushed to next week.
Less than a week ago, the Astros said they still expected him to be ready for their March 30th opener against the White Sox. But he’s running out of runway, and Audacy MLB Insider Jon Heyman told "The Drive with Stoerner and Hughley" that he wouldn’t count on Álvarez being ready.
“Dana Brown suggested there could be time for him to be ready for Opening Day, that he’ll start swinging a bat on Saturday. I’m not going to say it’s not going to happen, but it’s pretty optimistic," Heyman said. "From other people I talk to, they’re not certain he’s going to be ready Opening Day.
“That said, if you’re ready a week or two or three later, it’s really not the end of the world. But if you start swinging the bat on Saturday and not in a game, we’re now talking less than three weeks to go before the season begins. So, I would not bet on him being ready, although Dana Brown suggested it was possible that he could be ready.”
Álvarez won a Silver Slugger last season and finished third in MVP voting after hitting .306 with a 1.019 OPS -- thanks in part to the 37 homers he clubbed last season.
Theoretically he shouldn’t miss much time if he begins ramping up soon, even if Brown’s timeline is too optimistic. At this point though, it's looking more likely than not he won't be ready.
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