Springer placed on 7-day concussion DL
Astros will call up OF prospect Tucker
HOUSTON -- The Astros put outfielder George Springer on the 7-day disabled list Wednesday, a day after he suffered a concussion while careening into the wall for a spectacular catch during a loss to Texas.
That means a fan favorite is on his way.
The team will call up slugging outfielder Preston Tucker from Triple-A Fresno, hoping he can continue his blistering start to the season that had Astros fans clamoring to see Tucker at the Major League level.
Tucker was pulled from the Grizzlies' starting lineup before Wednesday's game, and he will join the Astros in Anaheim on Thursday, as Houston begins a four-game set. The left-handed hitter launched 10 home runs, drove in 32 and hit .320 in his first 25 games this season, making him the obvious choice for the callup, with Springer inactive.
Manager A.J. Hinch said Springer was dazed after Tuesday's game and "in good spirits" but "in and out of it" on Wednesday. After Wednesday's 11-3 loss, Hinch was unsure of the concussion's severity but said it was bad enough that symptoms persisted. Springer still hasn't been cleared to talk to the media or travel with the team.
"Our No. 1 priority is not about losing George -- it's about getting him right and back to 100 percent," Hinch said.
Springer obtained the concussion when he ran into the right-field wall while pulling in a spectacular catch during the seventh inning on Tuesday.
Springer had started every game in right field this season before the injury. Tucker was a designated hitter and left fielder by trade in the Minors, meaning Colby Rasmus could shift over to right. Hinch said there's no concrete plan for Tucker's role yet.
"I don't want to make any declarations, but we'd like to see [Tucker] play," Hinch said. "... He has torn through the [Pacific Coast League]. We have a whole plane ride tonight to LA to figure out how we're going to divvy up playing time."
Rasmus manned the right-field spot during Wednesday's loss to Texas, a move Hinch said was based on the veteran's ability to cover the larger area in right field.
Unfortunately for Springer, he's getting a bit too familiar with the DL, where he spent the final nine weeks of his 2014 rookie season with a left quad injury. Prior to his current injury, Springer was hitting .192 but owned a healthy on-base percentage (.311) and had scored runs in six of his last nine games.
Springer's DL stint is not retroactive, meaning the week-long clock for his potential return started on Wednesday.
"Hopefully he bounces back quickly, and he'll go through exercise of getting cleared to play," Hinch said. "We lose a lot of the energy he brings to the park. ... Every team goes through some of these injuries, and the next guy has to step up. We'll miss him for this series, but we have an off day on the back end that should help."
Tucker is not on the club's 40-man roster, so the Astros will have to make a move on Thursday to clear room for him. Moving Jed Lowrie to the 60-day DL -- after successful surgery on his injured right thumb -- is the most likely option.