The 2013 season was supposed to be Justin Maxwell’s best chance to be an everyday MLB outfielder.

The 29-year-old Maxwell fulfilled his initial part of the deal. Quickly moving past a rough spring training, he was one of the Astros’ best early-season hitters and one of only four players to compete in all of the team’s games heading into a Tuesday contest against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park.

Then Maxwell’s injury-filled past returned to real life. After striking out in the second inning against Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Maxwell walked to the plate in the third with the bases loaded and the Astros leading 2-1. Two four-seam fastballs followed. The third, a 91 mph four-seamer, fractured the fifth metacarpal on Maxwell’s left hand. Jose Altuve scored. Maxwell got an RBI. But his left hand was broken.

“It’s definitely – a play on words – a bad break. But we definitely got the team the win and I’m thankful for that,” said Maxwell, who’ll see a hand specialist Wednesday for further evaluation. “I trust in God’s plan and I’m not worried. I think I’ll be back on the field soon enough.”

Maxwell was immediately placed on the disabled list. Outfielder Robbie Grossman, who attended Cypress Fairbanks High School outside Houston, was called up from Class AAA Oklahoma City and will be active Wednesday against the Mariners. Grossman, 23, was hitting .317 with with a .789 OPS in 18 games with the Redhawks.

“(Maxwell has) been outstanding,” Porter said. “He obviously plays tremendous defense. He’s gotten some big hits. He’s one of the vocal leaders on the ballclub. His absence will be greatly missed.”

Porter said after a 3-2 win against the Mariners he’s unsure who’ll become the club’s everyday center fielder. Brandon Barnes, who filled in for Maxwell on Tuesday and made two smooth catches in deep center, is the likely candidate. Rick Ankiel can also play center but the 33-year-old veteran is more suited for right field at this point in his career.

Barnes, who is close friends with Maxwell, said he was far more concerned about his teammate than earning regular big-league playing time.

“I’ll just go out there and do what I’ve been doing,” Barnes said.