Injured Springer ready to support teammates
BOSTON -- Astros outfielder George Springer walked from the clubhouse to the field about two hours prior to Friday's game at Fenway Park while singing in unison with teammate Jose Altuve. Springer is out for six weeks with a fractured right wrist, but his large presence on the team remains.
Wearing a soft cast that bore the signature of several of his teammates and manager A.J. Hinch, Springer spoke about the disappointment of not being able to play, noting that it's important he travels with the club to show his support for his teammates.
Springer suffered a broken right wrist Wednesday when he was hit by a pitch thrown by Kansas City's Edinson Volquez.
"You know, any time you have to miss any time is tough," Springer said Friday in front of his locker at Fenway. "And at this point, there isn't anything I can do. Just kind of let it heal and support my teammates."
Springer, who is in his first full season in the big leagues, is batting .264/.365/.457 with 13 homers, 29 RBIs and 14 steals in 75 games this year. He's made several terrific catches in both right field -- where he played most of the year -- and recently in center field, where he played for the injured Jake Marisnick.
"He does a lot for us, but every team goes through these types of injuries," Hinch said. "We've got to overcome it and it's next man up, and we're going to have to find contributions from other people to make up for a lot of what he brings to the table.
"No doubt, it's a tough loss, but it's not changing. The season's not going to slow down; it's not going to stop. Other teams are not going to feel sorry for us, so we've got to find a way to overcome it because we're going to wake up tomorrow and for the foreseeable future without George in the lineup."
Springer is no stranger to the DL. He missed the final three months of last season with a leg injury, but can take solace that he could return before September this year. He will have two major checkpoints -- one at the two-week mark and one at the six-week mark post-injury. The six-week mark would be the soonest the club would clear Springer to resume baseball activities.
The Astros, who began Friday with a five-game lead in the American League West, will miss Springer's production.
"We've got a great thing happening here and I understand that I need to be as supportive and into the game with these guys as I can," he said. "Just support them 100 percent, and the next guy, he's going to step up."
What makes the injury even tougher for Springer is that it came just before he was going to play at Fenway for the first time. He grew up in nearby Connecticut, but was on the DL last year when the Astros played in Boston. He'll have to wait for 2016 now.
Springer's parents and other family members were on the field before the game.
"I'm going to go say hi to them with this [cast] on my hand," he said, "but it's all good."