Odorizzi left his start on Saturday after just five pitches with what the team called tightness in his right forearm, and manager Dusty Baker announced Monday that he had a strained right pronator.
“We hope it’s short term,” Baker said. “He’ll miss at least two turns [in the rotation]. And then hopefully he’s ready.”
Altuve, the 2017 AL MVP, was among five Astros who were placed on the COVID-19 list on April 14. The other four returned within days, but Altuve remained out. He cleared health and safety protocols on Friday and revealed Saturday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 but did not have any symptoms.
Altuve said he received the first dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines before testing positive, and that he has no idea how he contracted the virus.
Altuve was off to a strong start in 2021 after a down year in last season’s pandemic-shortened campaign. He is hitting .318 with one homer, three doubles and five RBIs in 11 games. Baker said he would bat leadoff on Monday night when the Astros begin a four-game series against the Mariners.
Odorizzi got a late start to the season after not signing with the Astros until March 8. His deal guarantees him $20.25 million over two years or $23.5 million over three seasons if a player option is exercised for 2023.
“I feel pretty fortunate that it was only something very minor,” he said. “And maybe the other day was just my body protecting itself and not letting it get into a worse position than I’m in right now. So I’m pretty optimistic about, I’m happy with the results.”
Odorizzi, 31, is 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in three starts this season.
An All-Star in 2019 with Minnesota, Odorizzi was hoping to bounce back from an injury-filled 2020 season, when he pitched just 13⅔ innings.
MLB vaccination rates slow; no additional teams reach 85% threshold
NEW YORK — The pace of coronavirus vaccinations in Major League Baseball has slowed, with no additional teams in the past week joining the 22 that had already reached the 85% vaccination threshold for players and other on-field personnel.
Major League Baseball and the players’ association said Friday that 85.3% of tier 1 and tier 2 individuals had been fully vaccinated and 86.5% had received at least one dose.
Previous weekly announcements included just tier 1, and MLB said on June 11 that 83.5% had been fully vaccinated and 85.1% had been partially vaccinated.
Tier 1 includes players, managers, coaches, team physicians, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning staff.
Tier 2 includes ownership, front-office staff, travel staff, head groundskeepers and ballpark operations staff.
Once a team reaches 85% vaccinations among tiers 1 and 2, it has the option to apply loosened protocols to tier 2.
Among changes to protocols made Wednesday, all fully vaccinated players and staff can stop wearing masks in dugouts, bullpens and clubhouses. In addition, fully vaccinated players and staff may eat in restaurants without restrictions and attend sporting events as spectators at venues with government approved safety protocols, the commissioner’s office and players’ association said in a memo sent Wednesday night.
There was one positive test, involving a player, among 9,104 tests in the past week, a 0.01% positive rate.
So far this season, there have been 66 positive tests — 37 players, 29 staff — among 203,523 samples tested, a 0.03% positive rate. The positive tests are among 25 teams.
Baltimore Orioles place LHP Bruce Zimmermann on IL, cut Chance Sisco
Zimmermann was supposed to be Baltimore’s starter Friday night against Toronto, but the Orioles instead will go with right-hander Thomas Eshelman. They selected Eshelman’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk.
Baltimore also designated catcher Chance Sisco for assignment.
Zimmermann is 4-4 with a 4.83 ERA this year. His move to the IL is retroactive to Tuesday.
Cisco has hit .154 in 23 games in 2021.
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani becomes first player to commit to Home Run Derby
Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels‘ two-way sensation, announced Friday that he will participate in next month’s Home Run Derby, becoming the first player to commit to the event. Ohtani made the announcement on his Instagram account.
Ohtani, ranked third in the majors with 19 homers, will join a group of eight players in a timed, bracket-style tournament on July 12 from Coors Field in Denver, where the thin air at high elevation famously produces long homers. Ohtani, who won the Nippon Professional Baseball Home Run Derby and was named MVP of its All-Star Game in 2016, will be the first Japanese-born player to participate in Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby. He also will be the first player to do so after making at least one pitching start.
Through the first 11 weeks of the season, Ohtani, 26, is one of only eight qualified hitters with an OPS over .950 and one of only 23 pitchers who has made at least 10 starts and has an ERA under 2.90. The only players who have hit more home runs are Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr., each of whom has accumulated 22.
Ohtani has been wowing players with majestic rounds of batting practice ever since he broke into the majors in 2018, and this year his power has risen to another level. Ohtani ranks first in barrels per plate appearance, fifth in average home run distance and fifth in average exit velocity.
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