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Report: Astros 2B Jose Altuve out indefinitely after breaking thumb in WBC

We discuss the hand injury that Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is being evaluated for.

Jose Altuve #27 of Team Venezuela singles in the first inning during the 2023 World Baseball Classic Quarterfinal game between Team USA and Team Venezuela at loanDepot Park on Saturday, March 18, 2023 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Daniel Shirey/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images

3/19 Update: Altuve was diagnosed with a broken thumb after being hit by a pitch in the World Baseball Classic. It is going to require surgery, and he is out indefinitely. Once Altuve has surgery, the Astros will provide an update on the timetable for his return.

Houston Astros' second baseman Jose Altuve was removed from the WBC quarterfinal matchup against the United States after taking a pitch to the hand. The Astros are expected to provide an update on Sunday, per Ken Rosenthal. Hopefully, the removal was just cautionary, as Altuve would be a big blow to the Houston lineup just as the season is about to begin.

Altuve played in 141 games last season. He hit .300 with 39 doubles, 28 home runs and 57 RBI. His .387 on-base percentage cements him atop the Houston lineup. Losing Altuve would cause Houston to use not only a reliable second baseman in the field but their lead-off hitter, which is going to be tougher to replace. With the power that the Astros project to have in the order this season, they need a reliable player to get them started.

If Altuve misses any time, it is likely that Mauricio Dubon would take over. He saw limited action in 2022 after being traded to the ‘Stros from the San Francisco Giants. Dubon played in 83 games and hit .208 with eight doubles, three home runs and 16 RBI. He is a utility player that typically serves as the backup to Altuve, shortstop Jeremy Pena and third baseman Alex Bregman.