What’s the plan for George Springer?
Jun 28, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros center fielder George Springer (4) hits a single during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
On the 14th of August, it was announced that Springer was able to resume baseball activities but was not cleared to swing the bat yet. I wrote about what was going on at the time here: The Astros’ George Springer Can’t Swing the Bat, but Can Take the Field. He was able to do everything he needed to do to get ready, but he could not pick up the lumber and take some of his legendary hacks. Almost a week and a half passed by, and finally Springer was able to take some contact swings on Monday and Tuesday.
How did he look swinging the bat after the almost two-month absence? Let’s take a look at Evan Drellich’s Tweet below.
According to reports by Brian McTaggart, Springer was not going all out swinging in his return to making contact with the ball; he was excited to step back up to the plate. At the time, the plan was for Springer to take some swings on Tuesday as well, and then they will evaluate him according to Hinch via McTaggart. Springer survived the second day of hitting and participated in an optional batting practice prior to an early start on Wednesday.
All seems well, he will travel to Minnesota with the team and take batting practice prior to Friday’s opener to the Twins series. According to reports by Drellich, Springer could begin his rehab this weekend and return at some point next week. When exactly will he return to his first place Astros’ lineup, probably not till after September 1st? Look for Springer to play 4-5 games in the minor leagues.
Where exactly could Springer play at during his rehab assignment? The two options the Astros have are Triple-A Fresno or Double-A Corpus Christi, both offering their own advantages.
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If Springer would go to Fresno, they are playing a road series in Omaha, which is close to Minnesota. Another advantage would be that Springer would face more upper-level pitching to get him ready for MLB pitching. However, should the Astros need Springer to join the team quickly after a few games, he would have to fly to Houston.
The Astros could send him to Corpus, a place he has already played at during a previous rehab assignment. Any major league piece that has been sent down has been sent to Corpus because of its closeness to Houston; no plane ride needed. The Astros are more likely to choose this option, I just wish I had the time to go down and watch him play with the Hooks.
It will be nice to get him back in the lineup. However, this will give Hinch the problem of deciding who goes into the lineup on a daily basis. It’s a good problem to have.