Jose Altuve breaks thumb in Venezuela’s WBC loss to USA
Venezuelan second baseman and Houston Astros star Jose Altuve broke his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch during a World Baseball Classic quarterfinal against Team USA , according to the officials of the Venezuelan team.
Altuve was hit on the right hand by a Daniel Bard pitch in the fifth inning at LoanDepot Park in Miami and replaced by pinch runner Luis Rengifo. As Rengifo scored one of Venezuela’s four points in the go-ahead rally, Team USA came back to eliminate Venezuela 9-7 in Trea Turner’s grand slam.
The Astros, the defending World Series champions, said they would provide another update on Altuve on Sunday when he returns to camp in West Palm Beach, Florida.
UK:USA advances to Trea Turner Grand Slam semis against Venezuela
Altuve becomes the second All-Star and key player for a playoff club to suffer a significant injury in the WBC. The New York Mets’ closest All-Star, Edwin Diaz, suffered a ruptured patella tendon during postgame celebrations in Puerto Rico’s elimination game against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
Altuve, the 2017 AL MVP, will almost certainly miss the start of the season. The Astros begin their title defense on March 30 at Minute Maid Park against the Chicago White Sox. Utilities Mauricio Dubon and David Hensley would be in line to take on some of Altuve’s duties.
Contributor: Bob Nightengale in Miami