Astros clear George Springer to begin rehab assignment

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Out since July 19 with a quadriceps injury, Astros rookie slugger George Springer is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment today at Single-A.

Chris Abshire of reports that Springer could come off the disabled list before this weekend, so it sounds like the rehab stint won’t be a lengthy one.

From his big-league debut on April 16 through his July 19 injury Springer smacked 20 homers to rank tied for fifth among all MLB hitters during that time behind only Nelson Cruz, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, and Brandon Moss. And he’s one homer short of tying Lance Berkman for the Astros’ rookie record.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.