MIAMI - Jose Altuve left Venezuela’s 9-7 quarterfinal loss to the United States on Saturday night with a possible broken right thumb after getting hit by a pitch in another injury setback at the World Baseball Classic.The Houston Astros second baseman, an eight-time All-Star and the 2017 American League MVP, fell to the field after he was struck by the 95.9 mph sinker from Colorado reliever Daniel Bard in the fifth inning.
He grimaced as he walked off with an athletic trainer, and Altuve was replaced by Luis Rengifo."The Astros will provide an update tomorrow after further evaluation," the club said in a statement.A Houston athletic trainer was concerned Altuve’s thumb was broken but had not received a scan to confirm a break, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press speaking on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced a diagnosis.Altuve’s injury occurred three days after New York Mets All-Star closer Edwin Díaz sustained a season-ending knee injury during the postgame celebration of Puerto Rico’s 5-2 win over the Dominican Republic.MORE ASTROS NEWSAltuve did not answer questions from media after the game, saying only in Spanish: "All is good.""It didn’t look good," said Venezuela manager Omar López, the Astros first base coach. "It took 10 seconds for Tomas Vera, my trainer, to get him out of the game.
I said, `Oh, my God.′ We’ll see what happens. I started to pray right away for Jose, for the entire team. That was our momentum right here when we took the lead.