The Astros have been missing three key outfielders for quite some time now. Starting centerfielder Dexter Fowler has been out since June 27th with a strained intercostal muscle. Super-rookie George Springer joined Fowler on the disabled list on July 20th with a quad strain. Alex Presley (strained oblique) has been on the D.L. since July 8th. It’s hard to win when your entire outfield is out of action due to injuries. The Astros are hopeful that all three will be back soon.
Springer was supposed to be finishing up a rehab assignment with Class-A Quad Cities last night. Playing in his third straight game with the River Bandits, the plan was to have George play seven innings in the field. Unfortunately, the quad tightened up on him and he had to be removed early. Springer could still be activated for Friday’s home game against the Rangers, but that seems unlikely.
The news on Fowler and Presley is a bit more encouraging.
Dexter Fowler in OKC today to take batting practice and will play Friday in first rehab game.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) August 7, 2014
Presley said he hopes to hit on field once back home. Cage session went well yesterday — Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) August 7, 2014
After waiting and waiting for an update on Fowler …finally some good news.
It also sounds like Presley could be back soon. The Astros can use the help. Since Presley went down, Houston outfielders have slashed a dismal .218/.296/.346. In 78 outfielder games played (including 6 by Springer) they have combined for 28 RBIs, 27 walks, and 54 strikeouts. Robbie Grossman (17 walks & 10 RBI’s) has accounted for most of that production. Kike Hernandez, who was traded to Miami over a week ago, is the only Houston outfielder with a batting average above .250 for the last 30 days.
Marc Krauss (.237) has been slightly better than terrible. Jake Marisnick (.150) and L.J. Hoes (.138) are another story. Chris Carter, normally the DH, has gone 2 for 9 with a walk over the last two games in Philadelphia. Being pressed into outfield duty seems to have cooled off one of the Astros’ hottest hitters. Maybe the ‘Stros can get some outfield production tonight. Either way, it will be good to get back home tomorrow and observe American League rules again. Hopefully we will see one or more of these guys back patrolling the outfield at Minute Maid Park during the homestand.