Springer hoping progress, video game therapy expedite return to Astros' lineup
Houston Astros outfielder George Springer is still stuck on the outside, watching his teammates every day as they try to maintain their lead in the AL West.
His wrist injury sustained in a HBP back in early July has subsided enough to let him be cleared for baseball activities last week, but as of Thursday he has yet to begin hitting baseballs.
MLB.com's Chandler Rome updated Springer's situation, noting that he's been working out, shagging baseballs in the batting practice and swinging a fungo bat in the Astros' batting cages. He hasn't begun hitting baseballs, however.
As he told Rome, Springer is upbeat about his progress: "It feels good, I like the progression of my hands so far. We'll obviously take it one day at a time and whatever happens, happens."
Manager A.J. Hinch implied to Rome that the club is eyeing wants to get Springer back on a field 'relatively soon'. In addition, the Astros' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates in Corpus Christi and Fresno could both be viable rehab options for him in the coming weeks. Said Hinch: "The progression of his swings are going to increase in intensity and create some resistance by hitting an actual ball. You know, obviously if we need that much time it's always nice to have available games [in the Minor Leagues], but I'm not sure how the timing collides yet until we really get George into a BP session to where we know when he's ready to play."
Springer also told Rome that he's been playing a ton of video games, and noted that handling the video game console's controllers has helped strengthen his wrist.
Still, he knows he has to be cautious and not rush back off the DL before his wrist is fully healed: "I understand I have to be even more patient now and be smart about it," Springer told Rome. "Just continue to support the guys."