Astros center fielder George Springer was out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game Sunday against the A’s, after straining his right wrist diving for a ball Thursday in Arizona. Manager Dusty Baker said Springer hit in the batting cage prior to Sunday’s game in Oakland but he’s still day to day.
“I’ve had injuries, and I’d rather wait one day longer than to push him one day ahead of schedule and reinjure it,” Baker said. “I told him to make sure he doesn’t hit too much [in the batting cage], which is always a chore when you tell a guy ‘Don’t hit too much.’ We’ll see. He’s day to day, but he’s made tremendous progress in the meantime.”
Springer is off to a slow start at the plate this season, hitting .182 with three homers and 12 RBIs. He was swinging the bat much better on the current road trip, though, batting .304 with 11 RBIs in the first six games of the trip. He began the season in a 1-for-21 slump and was 7-for-23 since, entering Sunday.
Springer’s two-run homer Wednesday gave him 163 for his career, which tied him with Cesar Cedeño for sixth-most on the Astros’ all-time list. Next on the list is Glenn Davis in fifth place with 166 homers.
No timeline for Alvarez’s return
Slugger Yordan Alvarez, who went on the injured list July 12 for undisclosed reasons, went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk as the designated hitter Saturday in an instrasquad game at the Astros’ alternate training site in Corpus Christi, Texas. Baker said there’s no timeline for his return.
“Depends on who he’s facing and the quality of pitching he’s facing and how he feels and his legs,” Baker said. “He’ll be welcomed back as soon as he gets here. He’s making great progress, and I’m sure he’s ready, or he’ll say he’s ready. We’re in constant contact with the guys down there to give us their opinion.”
Alvarez, the 2019 American League Rookie of the Year, hit .313 with 27 homers and 78 RBIs in 87 games last year and was a force in Houston’s lineup. He has dealt with knee problems since reaching the big leagues, and Baker said Alvarez’s return is delayed by the fact he hasn’t been running or hitting very long.
“You don’t want to do anything to hurt his legs,” Baker said. “You don’t want to do anything to hurt his oblique because you’re not used to the rotation [of the torso]. I really don’t know how long it’s going to be. I’d like to give you a date and a time, but I can’t. He’s progressing.”
Meanwhile, veteran infielder Aledmys Díaz, who’s been on the IL since July 25 with right groin discomfort, is also making progress in Corpus Christi.
“He’s hitting [Sunday] and did some agility work,” Baker said. “These guys are big guys in our offense, and we really miss them.”