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 MLB.com 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.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.