A litany of health problems have slowed the Astros, who have started 2020 an even 6-6 after winning the American League a year ago. Slugger and 2019 AL Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez is among the team’s most important players on the shelf, likely owing to a positive coronavirus test. Alvarez is taking batting practice and running, but manager Dusty Baker suggested a return is not imminent.
“The cavalry is a ways off,” Baker said of Alvarez and right-hander Jose Urquidy, who has also been on the IL for an undisclosed reason early this year, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. Urquidy just began throwing off a mound.
The 23-year-old Alvarez was a critical piece of the puzzle for the Astros last season, when he slashed .313/.412/.655 with 27 home runs in 369 plate appearances. There’s obviously no realistic way to replace that type of production.
Urquidy, 25, didn’t star as a rookie last year, but he was impressive in his own right, as he amassed 41 innings of 3.95 ERA/3.68…