Dusty Baker shows his hand with Jose Altuve injury

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker hinted that Jose Altuve could be activated off the injured list on Monday.

The Astros could use the stable presence of Altuve in the lineup, as they’ve lost four out of their last ten games and sit in fourth place in the AL West. Frankly, that’s not good enough in a suddenly-crowded division which includes the red-hot Oakland Athletics.

Should Houston hope to take back the West, and make it back to the ALCS where they lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Rays, they need arguably their best, most consistent player in the lineup. Despite the presence of Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley, Altuve has been doing this for a long time. His return is vital, and Baker claims it could happen as soon as Monday.

Astros: Dusty Baker claims Jose Altuve could return today

Altuve should be activated off the COVID-19 list on Monday, and in a corresponding move Jake Odorizzi will be place on the IL. Altuve was off to a strong start, slashing .318/.380/.455 thought 50 plate appearances. That’s a large enough sample size to assume he’s put his rough 2020 season behind him.

Baker’s comment sheds some light on the Astros looming decision.

“He’s slated to be in the lineup right now but there’s a few technical things we have to make sure are correct through the league,” Baker said.

If Altuve can pass MLB protocol, he’ll not only return to the Astros roster on Monday, but also should be in good shape to hit near the top of Houston’s lineup. Now that’s the jolt of energy the Astros need.