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

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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 against the United States on Saturday after taking a 6-mph fastball from pitcher Daniel Bard.

Altuve immediately fell to the ground upon 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.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported later It was feared that Altuve broke his right thumb and the Astros will have more information on Sunday.

The hit-by-pitch was the ugliest moment of an ugly inning by Bard, who opened the fifth with a walk, single, wild pitch, HBP, wild pitch and walk before Team USA manager Mark DeRosa assigned him to the Tampa Bay Rays. Pulled for reliever Jason. Adam. By the time Byrd struck out, the bases were loaded with outs and a run.

Bard’s line took a turn for the worse after he left, as Venezuela trailed 5–2 to take a 6–5 lead.

The injury risk of playing in the World Baseball Classic has already been a big topic of conversation since New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz tore his patellar tendon while celebrating a Puerto Rico victory at the end of pool play. Díaz, last year’s NL reliever of the year, is expected to miss the entire MLB season.

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Now, both the Astros and Venezuela are holding their breath on Altuve. The second baseman 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 . Finished in AL MVP voting.