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Altuve nears rehab stint; Springer progressing

@brianmctaggart
May 22, 2019

HOUSTON – All-Star second baseman José Altuve did baseball drills on the field once again Wednesday, including batting practice with his teammates, and will be headed to a Minor League rehab soon. The Astros have a plan, but have yet to reveal it publicly. Altuve, on the injured list with

HOUSTON – All-Star second baseman José Altuve did baseball drills on the field once again Wednesday, including batting practice with his teammates, and will be headed to a Minor League rehab soon. The Astros have a plan, but have yet to reveal it publicly.

Altuve, on the injured list with a strained left hamstring since May 11, has been working out pain-free with the club since Monday. He’ll either head to Triple-A Round Rock, which is home through Friday, or Double-A Corpus Christi, which opens a homestand Thursday.

“Jose’s in a really good place,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “He did some extensive running, both in the outfield and some agility work and also ran the bases briefly, which is a good sign. … He’s taking steps forward. We have a plan we’ll meet about after he takes BP and we’ll determine whether he needs more of that or he’s going to gear more towards competition.”

Meanwhile, All-Star outfielder George Springer (lower back stiffness) took batting practice in the inside batting cage Wednesday and ran with Altuve on the field and remains day to day. That was the first time he had taken swings since he was removed from Sunday’s game at Boston after three at-bats.

“He’s moving great,” Hinch said. “It’s really all about hitting for him. He’s not going to do anything outside from a hitting standpoint, so we’ll see how he feels after the cage work.”

Hinch was on the field with both Altuve and Springer when they were running, which isn’t always the case when injured players are rehabbing.

“When I come out there it’s a little higher intensity and guys get their work in, I guess,” he said. “Whether my presence matters or not, the work is a little bit more serious. And I also want to lay my own eyes on these guys and take advice of the training staff, the coaches and players themselves. I trust my own eyes, too.”

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