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Bregman among Astros nearing return

@brianmctaggart
September 3, 2020

HOUSTON -- After two days of baseball drills at Minute Maid Park, which included hitting on the field Thursday morning, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman believes he’s recovered from his strained right hamstring and hopes to return to the lineup soon. Bregman, who strained the hamstring running the bases Aug.

HOUSTON -- After two days of baseball drills at Minute Maid Park, which included hitting on the field Thursday morning, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman believes he’s recovered from his strained right hamstring and hopes to return to the lineup soon.

Bregman, who strained the hamstring running the bases Aug. 19 in Colorado, will travel with the club on its 11-game road trip, which begins Friday in Anaheim against the Angels. He had been working out at the team’s alternate training site before coming to Houston in the last few days. It’s unclear when the Astros will activate Bregman.

“I’m ready and I’m excited,” he said. “Hopefully, that’s soon. I’m just working with the trainers and strength coaches, and they’ve done an amazing job helping me out. And I’m looking forward to it, looking forward to getting back to doing what I love and competing and playing the game.”

Bregman had a more vigorous workout Wednesday, when he fielded grounders, ran quite a bit and did a lot of hitting, said manager Dusty Baker. Bregman previously strained his right hamstring last April and missed two games. In September 2016 -- at the end of his rookie year -- he missed two weeks after straining his hamstring running the bases.

“Everything’s been going extremely well,” he said. “I’ve run up to 100 percent, taken swings, taken ground balls and feel good during all of it. Just trying to listen to our training staff’s advice, but I feel good, feel strong. Especially in that hamstring, I feel really, really good. The team doctors, the [physical therapists], the people down in Corpus [Christi], everybody has helped out a ton.”

Baker said the Astros will also take pitchers Jose Urquidy, Chris Devenski and Brad Peacock on the road with hopes to activate them at some point soon. Urquidy (undisclosed) and Peacock (right shoulder soreness) have missed the entire season, and Devenski (right elbow soreness) has appeared in just two games. Urquidy is tentatively scheduled to start one game of Saturday’s doubleheader vs. the Angels.

The Astros can carry four taxi squad players on the road and can add a 29th player for Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’re trying to construct our roster and accommodate those guys at the same time,” Baker said.

Bregman named Astros nominee for Clemente Award
Bregman has been named as the Astros’ 2020 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, baseball’s most prestigious individual honor for Major Leaguers. The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

Bregman is one of the 30 club nominees for the annual award. As the nation began to battle a global pandemic, Bregman stepped up to become a leader in the efforts to assist families in need. What began as an initial donation of 1,000 quarantine food kits equating to 28,000 meals to the Houston Food Bank by Bregman and his fiancée, Reagan Howard, has grown into a rallying cry for all Houstonians to help “feed Houston.” On April 10, in conjunction with his new “Bregman Cares” charity, Bregman launched #FEEDHOU, a campaign to raise $1 million for the Houston Food Bank to help feed struggling Houston residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Every dollar donated provides three meals for families in need.

Bregman challenged himself and the community to a new goal of $2 million, encouraging supporters to spend time volunteering at local food distribution sites and the Houston Food Bank itself. To help reach the goal, Bregman utilized his hobby of gaming to gather support outside of Houston. He hosted a 24-hour charity livestream gaming event on Twitch that featured appearances from Astros teammates along with MLB, NFL and MMA stars, amassing over 800,000 views and raising $57,000 for #FEEDHOU. The gaming event helped provide an additional 150,000 meals for Houston families.

“I’m definitely extremely honored and grateful,” Bregman said. “There’s a lot of people throughout my career who have helped me get to the big leagues and gain this platform to be able to try and make an impact tin the community. Really thankful for everyone in Houston who’s helped each other out during these tough times during the pandemic and everything that’s been going on. You know, you never really set out to win an award. You do it because you want to help people, and for me, that’s what it's all about.”

Bregman and Howard have also donated over 100 lunches to first responders at Houston Methodist Hospital, one of the leading hospitals on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. Bregman also enlisted the support of University of Houston students in designing #FEEDHOU shirts, which were sold to raise additional dollars for the Houston Food Bank.

The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be selected via a blue ribbon panel, including Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS), MLB.com, as well as Roberto’s children: Enrique, Luis and Roberto Clemente, Jr. Beginning today, fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award via mlb.com/clemente21. The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans to vote until the end of the season on Sunday, September 27th. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.