Jose Altuve is playing in the ALCS with a knee injury. After spending the past couple of games playing in the designated hitter (DH) spot, Altuve was slated to be back on second base in Game 5, despite still dealing with some discomfort. The injury isn’t serious and just seems to be a nagging ache at this point. Even still, Altuve has had some trouble stepping on the gas when he needs to. When it came time to announce the starting line-up, Altuve was once again listed as DH for the Astros.
Altuve tweaked his knee earlier this season but played through the pain. It wasn’t until the fourth inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies a couple of days later that Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch noticed that Altuve was favoring the knee and decided to take him out of the game.
Altuve was placed on the 10-day disabled list for the first time — ever. It wasn’t something he was too fond of, but he knew that he needed to rest his knee, so he what he needed to do.
“If they think it’s better to go on the DL, for the team and me, in order for me to come back healthy and strong, that’s what we’ll do. It’s the first time in my career, I’m not like really happy about it … It is what it is. I wish I could be helping my team on the field. But I’m going to be traveling with my team everywhere they go and supporting them on the bench,” Altuve told the Houston Chronicle at the time.
In an interview earlier this week, Hinch said that Altuve wouldn’t be playing if this was the regular season — but that he was playing because he’s a huge part of the team — and it’s the playoffs.
“He’s hurt. If it’s any other time of the year, he’s not playing. He would probably be on the DL,” Hinch said. “At this juncture, what he brings is beyond that comparison. He’s not going to hurt himself any further. He’s part of our heart and soul. You’re going to have to drag him off the field and I applaud him for that,” he added.
The Houston Astros trail the Red Sox 3-1 in the ALCS. If the reigning World Series champions can win tonight’s Game 5, they will head back to Boston for Game 6.