Just when things were starting to appear rosy for the Astros, injury concerns have crept into the picture as Houston returns to Minute Maid Park, set for its longest homestand of the season.
With All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve already on the 10-day injured list with a hamstring strain, the Astros lost utility infielder/outfielder Aledmys Diaz and outfielder George Springer to injury in Boston while claiming their three-game weekend series. Diaz, like Altuve, was sidelined by hamstring discomfort while Springer departed in the fifth inning of the Astros' 4-3 loss Sunday with lower-back stiffness. Both Diaz and Springer are listed as day-to-day.
The Astros, who had their season-high-tying 10-game winning streak snapped with the setback, will open a 10-game homestand Monday against the Chicago White Sox.
"He never really got loose and it got progressively worse," Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters of Springer, who went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against Boston starter Chris Sale. "His swings got a little more timid as the day went on so I probably should have taken him out a little earlier, too. We'll get him evaluated when we get home; he'll see our guys. He won't play (Monday)."
Altuve, who last played on May 10, is eligible to return from the IL against the White Sox but will probably be sent on a rehab assignment instead. Diaz could return for the start of the homestand, and that would represent a positive for the Astros, who struggled defensively in the infield Sunday with first baseman Yuli Gurriel manning second with both Altuve and Diaz absent.
Right-hander Brad Peacock (4-2, 4.01 ERA) will open the homestand on the mound for the Astros. He is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA since making a change in his delivery two starts ago, posting 15 strikeouts over 12 innings while allowing opponents a .435 OPS. Peacock is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA over five career appearances (three starts) against the White Sox. He did not record a decision while logging a 9.00 ERA over two relief appearances against Chicago last season.
The White Sox were undecided on their starter for Monday by early Sunday evening. With left-hander Manny Banuelos (shoulder strain) on the IL and the club short on options in the minors, Chicago manager Rick Renteria was considering utilizing a relief pitcher for the opener role. According to MLB.com, right-handers Evan Marshall and Jose Ruiz plus left-handers Jace Fry and Josh Osich are the likely options against the Astros.
The White Sox optioned outfielder Nicky Delmonico to Triple-A Charlotte following their 5-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday in anticipation of reinstating rookie left fielder Eloy Jimenez from the 10-day IL. Jimenez had been sidelined with a right ankle sprain, last playing April 26 against Detroit. The organization's top prospect, Jimenez made the club out of spring training and produced a slash line of .241/.294/.380 with three home runs and eight RBIs over 85 plate appearances before being sidelined.
--Field Level Media