Houston Astros outfielder George Springer suffered a right hip flexor strain in the team's 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night, leaving his status up in the air as the team travels west to Seattle.
Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle first reported the injury, noting he'll be re-evaluated by team doctors Thursday:
Right hip flexor strain for Springer. Luhnow says strength test better than anticipated. He will be evaluated tomorrow— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 22, 2014
Springer was injured while being picked off by Angels starter Jered Weaver. After diving back into first base, Springer was seen grimacing and holding his right hip area. Team trainers came out to look at him, taking him to the clubhouse where he underwent further evaluation.
Springer: "Just gave out on me, I'll be alright. Just went to go back to the bag and it just went.” Said pain had subsided— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 22, 2014
Springer, 24, hit his fourth home run of the season off Weaver earlier in the game for the Astros' only run. He is currently riding a five-game hitting streak and has reached base in nine straight contests. The highly touted outfielder is seemingly starting to better acclimate to the big leagues of late, which would make the timing of this injury unfortunate.
"I've been able to slow myself down a lot more and kind of just start to go out there and play and start to be who I am instead of pressing or trying to do something that I can't do," Springer recently told reporters.
In 32 games since being called up, he's hit .240/.326/.384 with four home runs and 15 RBI. The Astros have been hitting him in the No. 2 hole, where he's demonstrated some good qualities yet needs to express more patience at times. He has 48 strikeouts against 14 walks thus far, and on Wednesday night, saw just four pitches in as many plate appearances.
The Astros are due at Safeco Field on Thursday to start a four-game series against the Mariners. It is only a short plane ride, but it'll be interesting to see how Springer's body reacts. Being stationary for even a brief period can cause stiffness.
Houston will obviously want to take no chances with Springer, someone the franchise views as a cornerstone piece. The Astros are 17-30 after dropping two of three to the Angels and are in fifth place in the AL West. Though improved from their dilapidated state last season, they're a long way away from competing near the top of the division.
If Springer needs one or two days off, it won't much matter. The important thing is that it's a relatively minor injury, not something that will keep him sidelined as he continues acclimating to the major leagues.
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