Another day, another injury to reckon with in fantasy baseball. Just a few days after Angels superstar Mike Trout hit the injured list, a fellow AL West star in Jose Altuve is now on it, after he’s missed the past few games with left oblique discomfort. With Altuve out in the interim, let’s take a brief look at his stats, plus some potential replacement options.
A Look at Altuve
Astros 2B Jose Altuve got a late start to the 2023 campaign, but he’s been solid at the plate since his return on May 19. Through his first 32 games (143 PA), Altuve hit .264 with six home runs and 18 RBI for the reigning World Series champion Astros.
Altuve’s batting average is down from last season, and he has been whiffing more at the plate this season, as compared to prior campaigns. He’s seen a bit more breaking balls, and the Astros infielder has chased at a rate not seen from him in a full 162-game season since 2019.
Still, his power numbers have been fine. However, the Astros will need to wait for Altuve’s bat to return, as he now sits on the IL with left oblique discomfort.
The good news for Altuve owners is that he said shortly after his placement on the IL that the discomfort in his left oblique is more minor than expected. Altuve told reporters he hopes to return shortly after the All-Star break.
This marks the second time that Altuve landed on the IL this season. Altuve missed the first several weeks of the 2023 campaign after he broke his thumb in the World Baseball Classic.
Potential Replacement Options
One potential target is the player that has taken Altuve’s spot at second base over the past few days. Astros INF/OF Mauricio Dubón‘s been in the leadoff spot and at second for Houston recently, and he makes sense for a few reasons.
Dubón, who’s been a previous waiver wire target for us this season, does a fine job of finding holes, even though he doesn’t have much power. The 28-year-old is tenth in the league in total hits among second baseman (per Fangraphs) with 79, tied with Thairo Estrada. He might not be all that exciting from a fantasy perspective, but his ability to get hits and run scored potential makes Dubón appealing.
Aside from Dubón, a couple of other potential targets that are widely available in fantasy leagues are Luis Garcia, Orlando Arcia, or Jeff McNeil for those who are willing to bank on a rebound from “The Squirrel.”