Houston just made a huge addition for the stretch run, activating outfielder George Springer from the disabled list after he missed two months with a fractured wrist.
Springer has played 159 career games since being called up in mid-April of last year, hitting a combined .247 with 33 homers, 81 walks, 19 steals, and an .813 OPS. He strikes out a ton, but few players can match his mix of power, speed, and plate discipline.
Springer figures to play right field nearly every day, with Carlos Gomez in center field and Colby Rasmus, Preston Tucker, or Jake Marisnick in left field. Houston is in first place at 73-61, holding a two-game lead over Texas in the AL West.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.