The Astros have placed young outfielder George Springer on the 15-day DL with a fractured wrist, the club announced. Springer left last night’s ballgame after being hit by a pitch.
GM Jeff Luhnow indicated that it will be a minimum of six weeks before Springer can return “to playing baseball,” seemingly implying that was the best case scenario, as Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports on Twitter. Of course, even then, a rehab stint would seem to be likely. There was good news, however: the fracture will not require surgery and can be allowed to heal on its own, Luhnow tells MLB.com’s Chandler Rome (via Twitter).
All said, Springer appears to be down for a significant stretch. Houston will be anxious to get him back in action as soon as possible, but will surely take care with its burgeoning star to be sure that the freak injury does not turn into a more serious, longer-term problem.
Springer, 25, has emerged as one of the game’s most exciting young players for a resurgent Astros club. He has put up an excellent .264/.365/.457 slash with 13 home runs and 14 stolen bases over 324 plate appearances this season, showing that his rookie campaign was no fluke.
Houston will turn to its internal depth for the time being, at least, by bringing up Alex Presley from Triple-A. And there are other options for filling in the outfield void, including Jake Marisnick and Evan Gattis. (While he is a lumbering defender, putting Gattis in left and Marisnick or Colby Rasmus in center would free the team to put both Jon Singleton and Chris Carter into a lineup.)
Luhnow indicated that the team will consider all options for dealing with the loss of Springer (also via Rome, on Twitter). “We’re going to have to rely on the depth internally,” said Luhnow. “If not, we’ll have to look externally.” Whether or not the club considers an outside addition could well depend upon Springer’s prognosis, of course, though it stands to reason that pitching will remain Houston’s primary objective.