A pair of Astros were picked to play in the 2023 MLB All Star game on July 11. Yordan Alvarez, who is currently rehabbing from an oblique strain, and Framber Valdez, who skipped Sunday's start with a sore ankle, were both picked to be part of the midsummer classic.
Alvarez has already said he will travel to Seattle for the game, but will not participate due to his injury. The Astros recently reported he is up to about 60 percent and should start a minor league rehab stint shortly after All-Star weekend. Valdez's availability for the game is unclear, but he has said he should be able to start for the Astros this week. That would seem to make him OK to play in the game next week.
This is the second straight selection for both players. Valdez wound up as the winning pitcher in the 2022 game.
Dusty Baker, as the World Series championship manager, will act as the manager for the AL squad in Seattle.
A number of injured players could be back for the Astros soon after the break including Jose Urquidy, Alvarez and possibly even Michael Brantley. The season has been somewhat of a disappointment thus far with a ton of injuries. But, the team remains just four games back of the division-leading Texas Rangers with another game in Arlington on Monday to round out a four-game set.
Even with all the injuries, particularly to a depleted pitching staff, the team leads baseball in ERA (3.58) and has several rookies or young players playing significant roles, a rarity for a team coming off a World Series title.