Altuve leaves game with partially dislocated right jaw
Second baseman, right fielder Paredes collide trying to catch pop fly
Special to MLB.com
DETROIT -- Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve had a scary collision with right fielder Jimmy Paredes in Monday night's 7-2 loss to the Tigers. However, the news appears to be positive.
After the game, Altuve, who partially dislocated his right jaw, was in good spirits in the clubhouse, sporting a smile. The 23-year-old said he was still in a bit of pain, but didn't expect to miss much time -- if any.
"I feel decent and a little pain in the moment," he said, "But right now, I feel better. Tomorrow [I think] I'm going to feel OK. We'll see [tomorrow] if I'm going to play, but I have a feeling I'm going to feel really good tomorrow."
Altuve will miss at least the next two games, however, for an unrelated matter. The second baseman was placed on the bereavement list after the death of his grandmother.
If Bud Norris didn't also get injured -- suffering back spasms warming up for the sixth inning -- Houston would have considered itself lucky, because the damage could've been much worse.
Altuve had been sprinting back on a short fly ball to right field off the bat of Jhonny Peralta in the second, when he encountered an unexpected shoulder from Paredes.
The impact left Altuve face down on the outfield grass as manager Bo Porter and trainer Nate Lucero rushed out from the dugout.
Altuve said he had been calling for the ball, and although he didn't hear Paredes, he thinks the 24-year-old outfielder was also screaming for it.
"I couldn't listen to him when he called for the ball," Altuve said. "I think we were calling [for it at] the same time. You know, that happens, but I think we're going to be OK."
The Astros elected to lift Altuve from what was then a one-run lead, subbing in Ronny Cedeno at shortstop and moving Marwin Gonzalez over the second.
"Altuve was more precautionary," Porter said. "He was dinged up, had a little soreness on the side of his jaw, but he told me -- he goes, 'Skipper, I'm playing tomorrow.' So I think he'll be fine."
Altuve is hitting .333, tied for fourth in the American League with Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter and Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. He's also tied for third in the AL with Orioles outfielder Adam Jones at 51 hits.
The loss of Altuve for any amount of time could be detrimental to a Houston ballclub fighting to stay afloat in a challenging American League West, although it looks like the worst has been avoided.