The Houston Astros hit the fast forward button to the future on Wednesday, calling up outfielder and top prospect George Springer to make his major league debut. The 24-year-old entered with high expectations and with a palpable buzz in the air, but didn’t look intimidated in his first appearance. In fact, he came out swinging, grounding out in his first plate appearance only because of a tremendous defensive effort by Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar.
As they often say in baseball, your luck will even out eventually. It didn't take long for Springer, because in his second plate appearance he was swinging again, and this time collected his first big league hit on a dribbler about 25 feet up the third base line.
It's a line drive in the boxscore, but with all of today's video technology it will be difficult to hide the truth from his grandkids someday.
The Astros ended up dropping the game 6-4 to Kansas City in 11 innings. Springer would finish 1 for 5 with a pair of strikeouts and a five-pitch walk leading off the fifth. Not exactly an overwhelming debut, but he certainly gave fans plenty to be encouraged about. Perhaps his most impressive plate appearance actually ended with a strikeout. He stood toe-to-toe with Royals closer Greg Holland for eight pitches in the 11th. Holland ended up putting him away with a 97 mph fastball, but Springer hung tough by fouling off another good fastball and a slider on 3-2.
He looked like he belonged, and there’s little doubt his name will be on Bo Porter’s lineup card 140 times this season. That’s good news for Astros fans, and perhaps it’s good news for the scoreboard operators at Minute Maid Park as well, because it will give them plenty of opportunities to spell his name correctly, unlike Wednesday night.
Rough time for a typo, but everyone will know George Springer's name soon enough.
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