George Springer (David Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
I’m not sure that you can have a better minor league season than George Springer had in 2013. The argument could certainly be made that Springer deserved a promotion to Houston towards the end of last season. After the All-Star break, one of the few bright spots for Astros’ fans was the speculation and countdown for when Springer would be an Astro.
Of course that never came, and we were left to wait until 2014. After sitting through three straight 100-plus loss seasons, we need some source for optimism. And that is Springer. Or will it be?
Based solely on his statistics from last season, Springer deserves to start the year with the Astros. Perhaps more importantly, that is what the fans want. And it is highly unlikely that this tortured fan base will take anything less. Because quite frankly, Astro fans deserve better.
So they can be forgiven for being frustrated and angry if Springer doesn’t start the year with Houston. Of course there is some level of cynicism involved, once again it is understood, that the only reason why the Astros will hold Springer back is because of money.
Now for the record, I want Springer to start the year with Houston. Or at least I did. I honestly thought he deserved a promotion at the end of last season.
Regardless of your point of view, one thing that cannot be argued, is that the Astros are giving Springer a chance. So far this spring, he has 31 at bats which is tied for fifth on the team. The problem though, is that the outfielder is only hitting .161 and has struck out 11 times. But it is not all bad news as he also has eight walks and four stolen bases.
I don’t think Springer’s minor league stay will be long, but he needs to work on his approach at the plate and also shorten up his swing, especially with two strikes. When he does arrive in Houston, it will be for good.