Springer placed on DL to rest left quad strain
GM expects rookie to return at 15-day mark; Krauss recalled from Triple-A
OAKLAND -- It's not in George Springer's DNA to take it easy running out of the box or to not go full tilt when he's tracking down fly balls in the outfield. In some ways, it's Springer's all-out style of play that helped him land on the disabled list Wednesday.
The Astros placed Springer on the 15-day disabled list with a left quad strain and recalled infielder/outfielder Marc Krauss from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The injury, which is different from the right knee discomfort Springer has been dealing with recently, has been lingering for about two weeks, he said.
"I want to be out there with my team and help and fight and play every day," Springer said. "This is obviously going to be hard on me."
Astros manager Bo Porter said prior to Tuesday's game Springer wasn't to the point where he needed to go on the disabled list, but Krauss was informed late Tuesday he was headed to Houston, so things changed throughout the course of the night.
Porter had given Springer permission to not run hard out of the box to protect the injury, but Springer isn't wired that way. Porter said Springer's quadriceps had been sore before he crashed into the wall in Arlington two weeks ago making a great catch, banging up his right knee in the process.
"He banged up his knee pretty good and the quad was already bothering him," Porter said. "Now you're trying to compensate for one or another, and it started to take a toll on his lower body."
Springer said the quad doesn't affect him when he hits, but the Astros aren't going to allow him injure it worse by running down the line at full blast.
"He's been day to day, and we could have continued to keep him day to day because obviously taking him out of the equation for two weeks is a blow to the team, but the way Springer plays the game is 100 percent," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Even if you use him as a pinch-hitter or a DH and he's in the game and he hits a ground ball, he's going to run 100 percent.
"In order to protect him from himself for a certain extent, we kind of need to force him to get some rest so that we don't risk him injuring himself in a way that seriously affects his time available to us the rest of the season. At this point, we don't expect him to be out longer than the 15 days."
Springer is hitting .231 with 20 homers and 51 RBIs through 78 games in his rookie season, putting him one homer shy of Lance Berkman's club rookie record. Now he's going to be a spectator for two weeks.
"It's been tough in general," he said. "I want to go out there and play at 100 percent and be able to help and be who I am, and when it's not that case, it's tough. For me, it's been hard just because I know I'm not 100 percent. That's how I play."
The Astros were already short-handed in the outfield with Dexter Fowler and Alex Presley both on the DL, which means Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes will get more playing time at the corner-outfielder spots. Super utility man Enrique Hernandez has been forced into action in center field.
Fowler has been on the DL since June 27 with a right intercostal strain, and Presley has been out since July 8 with a right oblique strain.
"It's a blow," Luhnow said. "It's really three guys that we've lost recently in the outfield, all of whom can [contribute] offensively and defensively. It's a big blow. I think this is the time that Grossman and Hoes and the rest of the guys have to step up. This is their opportunity. They're going to be playing every day, and they need to show us they're capable of producing and helping this team win ballgames.
"The team is in much better spot today than it was a year ago, than it was at the beginning of the year. A large part of that is the contribution of Fowler and Springer, and we need these guys to step up and fill that void."
Krauss can play right field and left field as well as first base. He hit .173 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 39 games with the Astros earlier this year and was hitting .289 with five homers and 38 RBIs in 42 games at Oklahoma City, including .308 in his past 10 games.