3:53 pm: It’s a grade 2 hamstring strain for Springer, who’ll indeed be out “a while,” per the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome. Manager A.J. Hinch did note that injury “isn’t as dramatic as [the club] initially feared.”
2:17 pm: Springer will indeed hit the IL, per the team.
Friday, 10:50pm: Star Astros outfielder George Springer left tonight’s game with a left hamstring injury, manager A.J. Hinch told reporters including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart (video links via Twitter). Springer said he’s not sure of the outlook, but was obviously frustrated with the situation in his comments.
A formal assessment of the injury has not yet been obtained, but it seems a trip to the injured list is all but inevitable. Hinch made clear that the organization is not anticipating good news when Springer goes in for a full evaluation. The skipper explained that he is “not looking forward to the diagnosis, to be honest,” adding that the situation “doesn’t look very good.”
Springer kept the door open to a more promising result, saying he’s “hoping for some good news,” though it didn’t seem as if he’s terribly optimistic. He had been nursing a back injury but was deemed good to go this evening. As he put it, it “sucks” to have suffered a new malady on the heels of four missed contests.
It goes without saying that Springer is a key cog for the ’Stros, who are already missing star second baseman Jose Altuve. Of course, the Houston ballclub is in excellent position regardless — not just because of its hefty divisional lead, but due to its ridiculous reserve of talent.
If indeed Springer hits the IL, it’ll be interesting to see what the club does to fill in. The team has three outfielders blistering the baseball at Triple-A, with former top prospect Derek Fisher (who is still just 25 years of age) joined by phenoms Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to form an exceptionally impressive unit at Round Rock. Alvarez’s numbers leap off the page even against those of his teammates, but he’s the only one of the group that doesn’t already have a 40-man spot.
It’s possible the club will bypass that trio entirely. It could instead turn to Myles Straw, a young right-handed-hitting outfielder who’s already on the MLB roster. He’s a speed-and-defense type who could be an interesting postseason roster piece and would help balance the current outfield mix as a right-handed hitter. Needless to say, the organization isn’t hurting for option.