Astros hoping Springer can avoid trip to DL
HOUSTON -- Primed to enter the All-Star break among the best teams in baseball, the Astros were dealt a severe blow during Wednesday night's 6-5 win over the Royals.
Outfielder George Springer was removed from the game in the sixth inning after he took a pitch off the right wrist in the fifth. Astros manager A.J. Hinch offered a bleak prognosis following the game.
"We sent him for tests and I'm not optimistic that he's going to avoid the DL," Hinch said. "We're going to get more and more tests with some specialists. It was painful for him, there was some swelling. It was in a tricky area; anything around the hand and the wrist area is cause of great concern. We'll see how it goes, but I do think it's going to be a DL."
Springer went down and writhed in pain after Edinson Volquez plunked him with an 0-1 pitch. Springer was tended to by Hinch and trainer Nate Lucero as he made his way to first base. He was later diagnosed by the team to have a right wrist contusion and was having X-rays taken after the game, a team spokesman confirmed.
Springer stayed in the game, advancing to third on Jose Altuve's single, where he slid headfirst into the bag and came up clutching his wrist. Springer played the sixth inning in the field, but he was lifted for pinch-hitter Domingo Santana in the home half of the inning.
Hinch said the injury initially left Springer numb, rendering him able to play and run the bases without much issue. Then, the area began to stiffen and swell, causing the skipper to remove Springer from the game.
With a DL stint likely, the Astros will once again deal with some adversity in the midst of the franchise's best start in nearly 20 years. Third baseman Jed Lowrie still sits on the DL with a torn ligament in his right thumb, and starter Scott Feldman is still rehabbing a torn medial meniscus, while Colby Rasmus and Jake Marisnick have had their share of nicks and bruises throughout the first half.
"I don't want to lose any of these guys," Hinch said. "I love all the guys and the way they play, but if we need a replacement anywhere from a short time to a long time for any of these guys, the next guy has got to step up. We've got a system in place below us, guys are playing well and we've got a great culture in there of a winning style of baseball. We're going to test that because we're going to need a lot of good things to happen for us to continue this momentum."