Astros place 5 on injured list ahead of Tigers game for 'health and safety protocols'
Houston — The Houston Astros, just hours before trying to salvage the third game of this series with the Tigers, placed five key players on the injured list for what the club cited as “health and safety protocols.”
The players were starters Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Martin Maldonado, plus utility man Robel Garcia. According to Astros manager Dusty Baker, those players had received one COVID-19 vaccination shot.
"It's a challenge for the rest of our guys to pick us up and get on the right track,” Astros general manager James Click told the Houston media. “We've scuffled the last four games and when it rains, it pours."
Called up from the club’s alternate site for the game Wednesday were infielders Taylor Jones, Abraham Toro, Alex De Goti, outfielder Ronnie Dawson and catcher Garrett Stubbs.
Without players’ consent, clubs can’t specify the nature of health and safety issue, but it’s likely that one or more players tested positive for COVID-19 or experienced some of the symptoms. They could also be held out for contact tracing reasons.
Click said there was no talk of postponing the game because Major League Baseball said there wasn’t a health and safety risk.
“There’s been no talk of postponing the game,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said before the game. “The Astros have communicated to us the situation that they’re in and some of the decisions that they’re making. But that’s their news to report. We’re ready to play.”