The Astros will place outfielder George Springer on the 10-day disabled list due to a left thumb sprain, with MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart (Twitter link) and others reporting the news. Derek Fisher will be called up to take Springer’s spot on the 25-man roster, as The Athletic’s Robert Murray tweeted earlier today.
Springer suffered the injury yesterday, when his thumb was clipped by the glove of Dodgers shortstop Chris Taylor while Springer was attempting to steal second base. X-rays taken yesterday on Springer’s thumb were negative, and he is only expected to miss around two weeks, as he avoided a more serious UCL sprain.
[Updated Astros depth chart at Roster Resource]
Still, even two weeks without the star outfielder is an issue for an Astros team that is suddenly missing several of its most notable names due to injury. Springer joins Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Chris Devenski, Lance McCullers Jr. and Brian McCann on the disabled list, with only Correa potentially close to a return. Houston’s lead over the streaking Athletics in the AL West has shrunk to just four games, so the Astros could find themselves as active players in the August trade market to bolster themselves down the stretch. Outfield depth could be of particular concern, as some combination of Fisher, Tony Kemp, and Jake Marisnick will be handling center field and mostly left field duties for the time being. Utilityman Marwin Gonzalez could also see some action in left field (though he has been filling in for Altuve at second base), while Josh Reddick will hold the fort in right field.
Springer has 19 homers and a .250/.335/.436 slash line over 485 PA this season. While still solid numbers, they represent the lowest wRC+ (115) over Springer’s five-year career, and a marked step down from his .889 OPS in 2017. He was off to a strong start to the year before hitting a prolonged slump in mid-June, as Springer has hit just .175/.281/.312 over his last 180 plate appearances. Some bad luck has been involved, as Springer’s .353 xwOBA is notably higher than his .331 wOBA.