Valbuena to have season-ending hamstring surgery

Valbuena to have season-ending hamstring surgery

PITTSBURGH -- The Astros will be without veteran infielder Luis Valbuena for the remainder of the season, manager A.J. Hinch said Tuesday. Valbuena is scheduled to undergo surgery in the next couple of days to repair a tendon in his right hamstring, an injury that kept him out since July 26.

"He tried to play through it and see if he could rehab it," Hinch said. "Turns out he couldn't. Surgery is the next consideration, and he'll miss the remainder of the season."

Valbuena, 30, had a solid season for Houston, hitting .260 with a .357 on-base percentage, an .816 OPS, 13 homers and 40 RBIs from the left side of the plate. In 55 games from May 7 to July 10, he hit .304 with 12 homers, 33 RBIs and a .390 on-base percentage.

Rookie Alex Bregman, the top prospect in baseball, has settled in nicely at third base in Valbuena's absence, and A.J. Reed and Marwin Gonzalez are splitting time at first, so the Astros are equipped to move on without Valbuena, who will be a free agent at season's end.

"We've been able to absorb it," Hinch said. "We're going to miss his contribution. He was really a big part of our lineup, just given how good he was at bat control, how good he was at controlling the strike zone. He swung at strikes and did some damage. He really recovered from a difficult April for him. But again, it's the next-man-up mentality where someone has to come up and get the at-bats."

Worth noting
• Outfielder Preston Tucker will start a Minor League rehab assignment Wednesday at Double-A Corpus Christi. He'll play five or six innings before progressing to seven or eight and then nine. He'll serve as the designated hitter and play a little bit of outfield, and Hinch said he may or may not be back by Sept. 1.

Yulieski Gurriel wasn't in the lineup Tuesday for the second consecutive game. He's dealing with some tightness in his right hamstring and isn't quite ready to play in the field, so with no designated hitter while the team is in Pittsburgh, he'll have to come off the bench.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.