Tucker lands on IL, dealing another blow to Astros

June 8th, 2024

ANAHEIM -- Astros right fielder , who entered Friday tied with Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson for the second-most home runs in the Major Leagues with 19, was placed on the 10-day injured list shortly before Friday’s game against the Angels with a right shin contusion.

"He’s just not progressing as quickly as we thought and we just need an extra guy on the bench just to help us out,” Astros manager Joe Espada said. “We don’t want to rush him. We want to make sure when he gets back he’s fully healthy. We just want to bring a fresh body.”

Tucker was on crutches and moving gingerly about the clubhouse following Friday’s 7-1 win over the Angels. The IL stint is retroactive to Tuesday, which means Tucker could rejoin the team June 14 at the earliest.

Astros No. 5 prospect Joey Loperfido, who posted an .817 OPS in 39 at-bats in his first stint in the big leagues in May, will be recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land to take Tucker’s place, a source told MLB.com late Friday.

Tucker hasn’t played since he fouled a ball off his shin in the third inning of the Astros’ win over the Cardinals on Monday at Minute Maid Park. X-rays on his shin were negative. Espada said Friday that Tucker was progressing slowly and “moving better.”

Tucker entered Friday with a .979 OPS, which was fourth in MLB behind Aaron Judge (1.080) and Juan Soto (1.027) of the Yankees and Marcell Ozuna of the Braves (1.000). He also ranked second in the American League in walks (46) and third in slugging (.584) and was the only qualifying player in the AL with more walks than strikeouts.

When he hit his 19th homer of the season on June 1, Tucker became the third player in Astros history with at least 19 homers in the team’s first 59 games of the season, along with Jeff Bagwell (20 in 1999) and Lance Berkman (19 in 2002).