WASHINGTON -- One day after second baseman Jose Altuve returned from a three-day absence from the lineup by getting four hits, Astros manager Bo Porter on Wednesday said Altuve should be a "no-brainer" pick to make the American League All-Star team.
Altuve began play Wednesday leading the Majors with 94 hits, which was six more than any other player. He had recorded multiple hits in 17 of his last 33 games and had 27 multi-hit games, which was tied for third in the Majors.
What's more, Altuve is the only Major Leaguer with at least 20 doubles and 20 stolen bases.
"I think if you were to poll the other coaches and managers that I get an opportunity to talk to, he's the one guy they don't want to see in the box with the game on the line," Porter said. "Again, you look at the fact he's only made [two] errors the entire year and the way he's been the catalyst of our ballclub and the resurgence of our ballclub, if that's not an All-Star, what is?"
Altuve is fifth in the fan voting at the position, trailing Robinson Cano of the Mariners (1,513,052 votes), Ian Kinsler of the Tigers (1,117,345), Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox (1,008,809) and Brian Dozier of the Twins (642,122). Altuve has 556,343 votes for a team that has been in last place all season.
"When you're winning, people want to look a little bit deeper, like, 'OK, why is this team winning?'" Porter said. "Over the last few years that could hurt him, but at the same time if you look at this body of work, it's not like Jose Altuve is a one-hit wonder. You're talking about somebody who's been an All-Star , he's done it year in and year out. His body of work speaks for itself, let alone the performance in which he's displayed this season."
Farnsworth moves up all-time appearances list
WASHINGTON -- With his appearance in Tuesday's game, Astros reliever Kyle Farnsworth moved into 27th place for all-time appearances by a pitcher. He has appeared in 891 games in his career, which is one ahead of Tom Gordon and seven behind Jim Kaat.
The Astros are the ninth team Farnsworth has played for in his 16-year career. He's been a reliever primarily in his career, starting just 26 times in his 891 games.
"It's hard work and determination just to play the game as long as you can," Farnsworth said. "The ability to just do it, not just a couple of years, but to try to be successful that long period of time and go out there and do the best you can."
At 38, Farnsworth is the oldest player on the Astros and keeps himself in great shape. He says he wants to keep playing as long as he's having fun. Another factor that helps his longevity is he's been on the disabled list only four times.
"I've worked hard day in and day out year after year," he said. "Maybe that's kept me around as long as I have, and I've tried to avoid injuries as much as possible. That comes from trying to keep your body in shape as best as possible and use the training staff and stuff. It's a long, strenuous year, and you've got to try to do the best you can to stay healthy."
Farnsworth believes he has a lot remaining in an arm that's thrown 987 1/3 innings so far in his career. When asked what he would still like to accomplish, that was easy.
"Win a World Series," he said. "That's what we all set our goals for, get on that stage. That would be the main thing."