HOUSTON – The Houston Astros are down three starters in the lineup after Alex Bregman strained his right hamstring Wednesday night. Bregman joins starting left fielder Michael Brantley with a bruised quad and Yordan Alvarez, who is out for knee surgery.
Brantley and utility player Aledmys Diaz, who is out with a groin injury, should be back relatively soon.
In the meantime, the Astros are starting rookies such as Abraham Toro and Taylor Jones, along with former top prospect Kyle Tucker, to fill on for Bregman.
How bad is Bregman’s injury?
It’s hard to tell. After the game, Bregman was listed as day-to-day and said “we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”
However, the next day, he was put on the injured list. Bregman has had hamstring strains before with varying lengths of time missed.
Soft tissue injuries are finicky, but there’s no indication he’s out for the season.
Are the backups good?
Abraham Toro will likely get the bulk of Bregman’s playing time at third base. Toro has struggled for the most part at the plate this year. However, he acquitted himself well Thursday with a 3-run home run against the Rockies, which ended up being the difference in a 10-8 win.
Toro is hitting just .171 and is playing slightly below-average defense. Last season, he hit .218 with slightly above-average defense. If he has to hold down Bregman’s spot at third for a few weeks and hit at the bottom of the order, the Astros will still be fine.
How does this affect World Series chances?
Also hard to tell because the Astros would much rather win the AL West again than be the 4 or 5 seed in the American League.
So to that end, missing Bregman for two to three weeks doesn’t help. If Bregman is back and healthy for the postseason, there are few teams in baseball that have as strong of a lineup as the Astros.
Either way, Houston’s postseason success will rest on their pitching.