Springer activated from disabled list

August 17th, 2018

OAKLAND -- The Astros activated All-Star outfielder from the 10-day disabled list prior to Friday's series opener against the A's at the Oakland Coliseum. Springer, who had been out since spraining his left thumb Aug. 5 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, returned to the leadoff spot in the order.

To make room for Springer's return, the Astros optioned outfielder to Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday.

The return of Springer, who missed eight games in which the Astros went 3-5, comes only a week after shortstop returned from the DL after missing six weeks with a sore lower back.

"We need him," Astros manager AJ Hinch said of Springer. "He's been noticeably missing at the top of the order and the energy he provides and the presence he provides. The lineup turns over and you have a threat of a middle-of-the-order bat at the top of the order. It's a great advantage.

"It's amazing when you slot a couple of guys back, the bottom half of our order looks pretty good when you're starting to slide guys down to the bottom of the order. It's a welcome return on so many levels with George. We're pretty lucky because 10 days ago we walked off the field together in L.A. and feared the worst. We didn't know how long he'd be out or if he'd return this season. We were fortunate with the injury diagnosis."

Springer is hitting .250 with 19 homers and 58 RBIs in 109 games this season, including. 261 with four doubles, four homers, seven walks, 12 RBIs and nine runs scored since the All-Star break.

Odds and ends

• Astros catcher , who underwent surgery on July 2 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, began an injury rehab assignment with Fresno on Thursday and went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in a start at designated hitter. He was scheduled to take Friday off and catch five innings on Saturday

"We'll build him up to nine innings," Hinch said. "He's gotten four at-bats and feels really good. I don't know what the next two weeks are like. We want to make sure he's available and at least has some game activity. If it gets all the way to September, [that means] we've stayed healthy and stayed good. The No. 1 important goal for us to get McCann healthy, keep him healthy and get his baseball legs underneath him again so he can help us the day we can get him back."

• The Astros are in need of a starting pitcher Tuesday in Seattle to take the spot of , who's on the disabled list. Hinch said relievers -- and former starters -- , Brad Peacock and are all candidates to start. If they have to throw too much this weekend in Oakland, the Astros could call up an arm from Triple-A.