HOUSTON -- The wait is almost over for Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who said Saturday that he will return to action in the next couple of days on a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land. Bregman has been out of action since straining his left quadriceps muscle while running the bases on June 16.
“I’m going to go start playing baseball, which is good, and I’ll be back soon,” Bregman said.
The Sugar Land Skeeters play in Oklahoma City from Sunday through Tuesday before returning home for a six-game series against El Paso beginning Thursday and ending on Aug. 3. It’s conceivable that Bregman could rejoin the Astros when they return from Los Angeles on Aug. 5 for the start of a four-game series against the Twins at Minute Maid Park.
That would fall in line with the timetable given Saturday by manager Dusty Baker, who said Bregman probably wouldn’t be available for the upcoming eight-game road trip through Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Bregman ran the bases with intensity Saturday and took batting practice on the field once again.
“I feel great,” he said. “I’m excited. I felt amazing today and pushed it as hard as I've pushed it and beat times that I had running during the regular season earlier when I was letting it go. It was really good, and I look forward to [continuing] to build up and getting out of here and getting closer to getting ready to play up here.”
Bregman hopes to get 15 to 20 at-bats with the Skeeters. Considering he will require a day or two off during his rehab stint, he won’t rejoin the Astros for at least a week.
“The biggest thing is just getting the volume of playing in games,” he said. “We’re going to map out how many games and when and where. … I’ll get a lot of at-bats and a lot of games under my belt and get ready to rejoin the boys.”
The Astros could also get utility infielder Aledmys Díaz back in time for Monday’s series opener in Seattle. Díaz, who fractured his left hand when he was hit by a pitch on June 5, went 0-for-5 on Friday in his third rehab game at Double-A Corpus Christi, where he has played third base and shortstop.