Yordan Alvarez says he played through knee pain all year in 2019
Yordan Alvarez had an unbelievable rookie season in 2019, but he may have actually been held back a little.
The Houston Astros slugger told reporters on Thursday that he battled knee pain “all season” last year.
“I just worked hard every day to make sure I warmed up my lower body properly and just went out and played,” Alvarez said through his interpreter, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. “I tried to manage it as best I could that way.
“As of this moment, I feel good,” he added. “I know that [manager] Dusty [Baker] had said [my knees are] barking a little bit, but for now I feel good. I don’t think it’s something that affected me from last year, I just think it’s something that I did have knee problems last year, but it’s something that I’m just watching this year a little bit.”
The 22-year-old also added that he wants to play in the outfield more often in 2020 and has been working on strengthening his lower half this offseason.
Through it all, Alvarez hit .313 with 27 homers and 78 RBIs in just 87 games last season, running away with American League Rookie of the Year honors. He tailed off at times in the playoffs, but hopefully the winter has given him enough time to get his knees right and go back to hitting dingers.