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“We don’t have a ton of regular playing time when things are right, so I think that some of the other guys that don’t move around the field as much or have a primary position, it makes it a little tougher,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “We had a tough choice, but versatility wins out.”
The Astros have been hit hard by injuries lately. Outfielder George Springer left Saturday’s game against the Rays with hamstring discomfort, and he has been out of the starting lineup since. Outfielder Jake Marisnick suffered a mild concussion running into the wall while making a catch Sunday, and he is on the 7-day disabled list. And Hernandez bruised his lower left leg when he collided with Jose Altuve in the outfield Tuesday.
Hinch said Springer, who was thrust into action in the eighth inning Tuesday when Hernandez went down, still isn’t 100 percent.
“I didn’t want to use him yesterday, but the collision made me use him,” Hinch said. “He’s available. He can go out there. I always consider the pros and cons of sending somebody out there at less than 100 percent. I’m going to continue to buy extra days.”
Hinch also kept Altuve out of the lineup Wednesday after he left Tuesday’s game following the collision. Altuve said he feels fine, though.
“I showed up today, and A.J. said it would be better if he give me a day off and I believe him,” Altuve said. “I feel good.”
Hernandez, meanwhile, is dealing with playing fewer than two innings for the Astros this year before going on the disabled list. He was hobbling around the clubhouse Wednesday.
“This is not what I expected, but it happens,” Hernandez said. “This is my first time that I’m going to go on the DL. I’ll just try to get better as quick as I can and get back to playing.”
Kemp was driving from Fresno to Lake Tahoe with his fiancée as well as teammate A.J. Reed and his wife following Tuesday’s game when he got the call from Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco that he was heading to Cleveland. He flew from Reno, Nev., to Denver to Cleveland and arrived at Progressive Field two hours before game time.
“I definitely was feeling good down there,” Kemp said. “Our offense was definitely clicking. We’ve just got to get everybody clicking on all cylinders as well. To see the things they’re doing up here is unbelievable. It doesn’t surprise me at all the way they’re playing.”
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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