Yordan slowed by sore left hand to start camp

February 21st, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Astros All-Star slugger Yordan Alvarez won’t be able to take live batting practice during the early days of Spring Training while dealing with a sore left hand that was a recurring issue last year. Alvarez said Tuesday the injury flared up in the offseason and he’ll need a few more days before being able to face pitchers.

“I came into camp and I spoke with the team,” he said. “It’s going to be something we’re going to monitor. I felt a little bit of discomfort, but it’s something we’re going to work on. I’m going to take the next couple of days off here like I did in the offseason to prepare, but it’s not going to be something that’s going to be an issue during the season.”

Alvarez was on the injured list last July with right hand inflammation, and he wound up hitting .306 with 37 homers and 97 RBIs in the regular season, finishing third in American League MVP voting. In the playoffs, he hit three go-ahead homers, including a three-run shot in Game 6 of the World Series that sent the Astros to victory.

The Astros certainly won’t rush Alvarez into action considering Tuesday was the first full-squad workout and there are more than five weeks remaining before the start of the season.

“The easy solution for that is just rest,” he said. “Obviously, I use my hands every day at the ballpark, but rest would be the biggest thing.”

Alvarez hopes to be able to face pitching in a couple of days.

“I spoke to the staff, and we decided it’s better to lose a couple of days right now than during the season,” he said.

Alvarez said the biggest thing he focused on in the offseason was strengthening his legs in anticipation of playing more left field this year. Last year, he started 77 games at designated hitter and 56 in left in the regular season.

“I know that this year I’m going to play the outfield a lot more, so I worked on my legs to be in better shape,” he said.