Houston Astros facing potential COVID-19 outbreak

Houston Astros COVID-19 outbreak
Apr 8, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) is congratulated by left fielder Michael Brantley (23) after hitting a home run against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros on Wednesday placed five players on the injured list for unspecified reasons. That includes regulars Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Martin Maldonado as well as backup infielder Robel Garcia.

We now have more information on the five players going on the injured list. It appears that the moves are under the guise of the MLB health and safety protocols relating to COVID-19.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network followed this up by reporting that there appears to be at least one positive COVID-19 test among the five players.

Just a couple weeks into the 2021 MLB season, we’ve already seen a couple outbreaks of the virus. That started on Opening Day when the Washington Nationals’ game against the New York Mets was postponed after an outbreak of COVID-19 within Washington’s organization.

As for the Houston Astros, it’s not yet known whether their game against the Detroit Tigers slated for Wednesday evening will be postponed. But there’s a good chance that will happen.

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At least initially, last season’s truncated 60-game slate was defined by COVID-19 outbreaks. The hope heading into 2021 was that a downtick in cases coupled with more Americans being vaccinated would prevent his from happening around the Major League Baseball world.

Through a couple weeks, that has not been the case.

The good news for the Houston Astros and MLB moving forward is that other professional sports leagues in North America have seen a downtick in cases. Earlier on Wednesday, the NBA reported zero new COVID-19 cases among the 488 players currently in the Association. That could lead to some optimism that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

For now, the Astros’ schedule over the short-term appears to be up in the air.