Astros add pair of exhibition games
Houston will face Royals in KC; Urquidy, Alvarez placed on injured list
HOUSTON -- The Astros will travel to Kansas City next week to play exhibition games against the Royals at 7:05 p.m. CT on Monday and 1:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday. The Astros open the regular season July 24 against the Mariners at Minute Maid Park.
The exhibition games will mark the Astros’ first time traveling since the coronavirus epidemic shut down Spring Training on March 12. The club has been working out at Minute Maid Park and the University of Houston since July 3, though delays in COVID-19 testing forced a pair of workouts to be cancelled in the last week. The Astros pushed back Monday’s session to the late afternoon while awaiting test results.
The season opener against Seattle will be the first game of a six-game homestand for the Astros, during which they will host the Mariners and the Dodgers. Each club will play 60 regular-season games as part of the revised MLB schedule. All 60 of Houston's games will be against teams in the American League West or National League West to limit travel.
Urquidy, Alvarez placed on the IL
The Astros placed right-hander José Urquidy and designated hitter Yordan Alvarez on the 10-day injured list for undisclosed reasons, according to the league’s transaction wire. Urquidy and Alvarez are among four known players who haven’t reported to camp, joining veteran reliever Joe Smith and right-hander Josh James.
Major League Baseball has instituted a COVID-19 list this season, although clubs will not announce which players are placed on it due to privacy laws regarding individuals’ health. Players may address their status if they wish, though they are not required to do so. Merely being placed on an injured list without further explanation is not confirmation that a player has tested positive for COVID-19. For example, potential exposure to a person who has the virus can be sufficient cause.
Alvarez was hampered by a sore left knee last season and into the spring, and general manager James Click said last week that Alvarez was still having an issue while working out in Florida during the break. Astros manager Dusty Baker said Sunday that James could report to the club as early as Monday, and he had said last week that James was dealing with a “family matter.”