8/5/2014 8:06 P.M. ET
Oberholtzer enjoys Philadelphia homecoming
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- This week's series at Citizens Bank Park is a homecoming for Astros left-handed starter Brett Oberholtzer, who grew up about 45 minutes away in St. Georges, Del., as a huge Phillies and NFL's Eagles fans.
"I went home last night and before I walked in the front door of where I grew up, born and raised, I turned around and looked at my front yard and said, 'This is where it all started. This is where I was born and raised and grew a passion for baseball,'" Oberholtzer said. "There's been a lot of ups and downs, but it was surreal when I walked through the door yesterday. It was pretty cool."
Oberholtzer isn't scheduled to pitch until the Astros return home on Friday, but he still plans to have about 15 friends and family members in the stands Tuesday.
"They're all Phillies fans growing up, so if they can't see me pitch at least they can come out to the ballpark and enjoy it," Oberholtzer said. "I told my family, 'That's just how it works.' But the good side of it, the motivation side of it is, if I keep playing baseball long enough, I'm sure I'll be back."
Oberholtzer's father, Fred, was a huge influence on Brett as a youngster and was among those that came to Philadelphia to watch the Astros.
"It was pretty cool growing up watching baseball on my back porch with my dad," Oberholtzer said. "I saw Chase Utley's first home run ever hit [on TV], a grand slam down the line at Veterans Stadium. It seemed so surreal. It seemed like yesterday when I was a young kid watching Jimmy Rollins making his debut. Scott Rolen was another guy I watched growing up. It's pretty surreal to be here."
Springer could return as early as Thursday
PHILADELPHIA -- Astros rookie outfielder George Springer could return to action as early as Thursday if his rehab continues to progress as planned.
Springer, who has been on the disabled list since July 20 with a left quad strain, was scheduled to play five innings in the outfield in the second game of his rehab assignment at Class A Quad Cities on Tuesday. He was the designated hitter on Monday and went 0-for-1 with two walks and a stolen base, which was a good sign.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said he wants to see how Springer responds in consecutive games played before making a decision about when to activate him.
"Whether we decide to have him play Wednesday [at Quad Cities] and then bring him here Thursday, or have him play Wednesday and be off Thursday, those are both good scenarios for us because it has him back Thursday or Friday," Luhnow said. "A lot of that depends on how he feels [Tuesday]."
Meanwhile, outfielder Alex Presley -- out since July 8 with a strained right oblique -- continues to progress. He hit some balls that were flipped on Tuesday and is responding well. He hopes to take some batting practice, either on the field or in the cage, on Wednesday.
"As these injuries go, it hasn't taken really long," Presley said. "As far as the timetable goes, I'm probably around a week or so ahead. I didn't know what to expect with this. It's definitely one of those things that's frustrating because you have to do nothing for a while and work on little stuff. I'm actually getting back to some of the fun stuff, and I'm looking forward to that."
Meanwhile, Luhnow said the Astros were "days away" from deciding when to send outfielder Dexter Fowler out on a rehab assignment. Fowler has been out since June 27 with a right intercostal strain.
Singleton makes debut in Philly -- with Astros
PHILADELPHIA -- Jon Singleton finally realized his dream of playing at Citizens Bank Park, even if it did come with some unforeseen circumstances.
Singleton was one of four prospects the Phillies traded to the Astros in exchange for outfielder Hunter Pence on July 29, 2011, joining pitcher Jarred Cosart, outfielder Domingo Santana and relief pitcher Josh Zeid.
All four were on the Major League roster briefly this year, before Santana was sent back down. Zeid didn't make the trip to Philadelphia because he's due to have season-ending foot surgery this week, and Cosart was dealt to the Marlins last week.
"I'm excited to play here," Singleton said. "There's a lot of guys that I've played with who are with the organization, so it's going to be cool to see them."
Singleton, who was playing in Class A Clearwater when the trade was made, was subsequently sent to Class A Lancaster and made his Major League debut this year after signing a $10-million contract extension.
Santana, who was the player to be a named later in the deal, was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday for his second stint with the club. He was 0-for-13 with 11 strikeouts in his first stint in Houston earlier this year.
"I was sad, because I had a pretty good relationship with everybody," Santana said of the trade.