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Watch: Jose Altuve exits WBC contest against US after being hit by pitch

By Mike Santa Barbara,

Jose Altuve Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go again.

Days after New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz saw the likely end of his seasonin a celebration gone wrong, another star big-leaguer has suffered an injury, the severity of which is currently unknown.

Houston Astros star second baseman Jose Altuve left Saturday night's contest between Venezuela and the United States after being hit in the hand with a pitch.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, a Daniel Bard fastball tailed inside on the infielder, striking his right hand and sending Altuve to the dirt immediately, in obvious pain. Soon after, the team removed Altuve from the game.

The Astros subsequently released a statement confirming Altuve's injury while adding that they will provide an update on his status on Sunday.

The unfortunate hit-by-pitch will no doubt once again drum up detractors of the world showcase. The spotlight is already on the World Baseball Classic for the wrong reasons this week.

On Wednesday, Diaz suffered a torn right patellar tendon celebrating Puerto Rico's victory over the Dominican Republic. Diaz underwent surgery on Thursday, all but ending his 2023 campaign before it began.

While the Astros and their fanbase hold their breath, manager Dusty Baker tried to paint an optimistic picture.

"You don't like it, but we don't have any word yet," Baker said via Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle. "So, you're always trying not to think the worst."

The 32-year-old Altuve is coming off an All-Star campaign in 2022, helping to lead the Astros to another World Series title after slashing a strong .300/.387/.533 with 28 home runs and 57 RBI in 141 games.

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