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Outfielder Tucker returns to Astros' lineup

Lefty slugger back from shoulder surgery; expected to start season on DL
March 27, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- With only three games remaining in Florida, outfielder Preston Tucker was in the Astros' lineup in a Grapefruit League game for the first time this spring and went 0-for-2 while playing five innings in right field in a 3-2 loss to the Cardinals at The

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- With only three games remaining in Florida, outfielder Preston Tucker was in the Astros' lineup in a Grapefruit League game for the first time this spring and went 0-for-2 while playing five innings in right field in a 3-2 loss to the Cardinals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
"I think for him, getting the adrenaline going from the Major League pitching will be important," manager A.J. Hinch said. "Three or four at-bats down in Minor League camp is different than a couple of at-bats in the big league game. We'll know a bit more after tonight."
Tucker, who had surgery Sept. 21 on his right shoulder, has been playing in Minor League games on the back fields for about a week. He's expected to start the season on rehab as he recovers from a procedure to repair the acromion, a bony projection on the shoulder blade.
Tucker said swinging the bat hasn't been an issue for quite some time, but reaching out for a ball while playing the outfield has led to some soreness. He was tested early in Monday's game and responded well, throwing out Cardinals outfielder Matt Adams when he tried to stretch a single into a double in the first inning.
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"You can only practice so much, and I think it's going to be good to kind of get some of the rust off and get things going," Tucker said before the game. "That's probably more of a concern to me that swinging the bat. I'm looking forward to hopefully getting some ABs in before we get the season going."
Tucker, who was the designated hitter on Opening Day last year, won't make the club out of Spring Training this year.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.