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World Baseball Classic: Jose Altuve of Venezuela walks out after being hit by an HBP hand

The Astros and Venezuela would have lost the most for Team USA in a very poor inning. (Photo by Daniel Shirri/WBCI/MLB Photo via Getty Images)

Another major injury could be on the ledger for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Houston Astros All-Star Jose Altuve, playing for Venezuela, ejected from his team’s game on Saturday after taking a 96 mph fastball from pitcher Daniel Bard against the United States.

Altuve hit the ground shortly after making contact with the pitch and was carried off the field by a trainer in obvious pain. He was replaced at second base by Luis Rengifo of the Los Angeles Angels.

The hit-by-pitch was the worst moment of an ugly inning by Bard, who started the fifth inning with a walk, single, wild pitch, HBP, wild pitch, and walk, before Team USA manager Mark DeRosa finally fired him in Tampa. Pulled over for Bay Rays. reliever Jason Adams. By the time Byrd struck out, the bases were loaded with no outs and a run.

Bard’s line took a turn for the worse after his departure, as Venezuela rallied from 5–2 down to take a 6–5 innings.

The injury risk of playing in the World Baseball Classic was already a very loud topic of conversation after New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz tore his Achilles tendon while celebrating a win with Puerto Rico at the end of pool play. Díaz, last year’s NL reliever of the year, is expected to miss the entire season.

Now, both the Astros and Venezuela are holding their breath over Altuve, as are most likely WBC officials. Altuve is coming off a championship-winning season with the Astros in which he hit .300/.387/.533 with 28 homers and 18 steals and earned his eighth All-Star nod, sixth Silver Slugger Award and fifth Achieved it. in AL MVP voting.



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