8/30/2014 7:06 P.M. ET
Injured Presley takes batting practice
By Gene Duffey / Special to MLB.com
HOUSTON -- Injured Astros outfielder Alex Presley, on the disabled list since July 8 with a strained oblique, took batting practice for the first time Friday night.
"After yesterday I was pleased," Presley said. "You get a little more adrenaline going on the field [than in the batting cage], especially when you haven't been out there for a while. I was happy with it."
Long periods on the disabled list can weigh on a player, especially when you're trying to prove yourself in a new organization. The Astros acquired Presley in a trade with the Pirates last Aug. 31.
"It feels like an eternity," he said of his time on the DL. "I can't remember how it feels to play a game almost. Taking BP was a major treat for me. I felt like a regular player. I had a lot of time where I wasn't allowed to do anything. When I get back to doing normal stuff, it's a big deal."
Presley, 29, has hit .252 in 70 games for the Astros this season and played well in the outfield, mostly in left.
"I'm doing the same today and we'll see how that goes," Presley said of his BP schedule for Saturday. "[Sunday] I won't be on the field, but I'll still do stuff [in the batting cages]. We'll evaluate after that. Ultimately, it's not my decision."
The Astros are off Monday, which Presley said should be helpful.
"Presley's looking good," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Hopefully we'll get him out [on a rehab assignment] to play some place next week with the thought of him rejoining the club after he gets healthy."
Of course, the Astros must find a Minor League affiliate that is still playing next week with the regular season ending Monday. Triple-A Oklahoma City should make the playoffs, but Double-A Corpus Christi is out.
"I want to get back, get in some games and finish out the year," Presley said. "That's my goal. You want to be on the field at all times, especially at the end of the year. It's important to be healthy at the end of the season.
"You want to get back, but you don't want to get back too early and re-injure yourself or not perform to the level you should be playing. I saw that [the first time] I went to rehab. It's going to set you back further."
Presley realized being activated in September doesn't mean getting in the lineup, when the rosters are expanded.
It has been a tough year for Houston outfielders with Presley, Dexter Fowler and George Springer all on the DL at the same time for a while.
Springer's progress: Not much has changed
HOUSTON -- George Springer, the Astros' standout rookie right fielder, spoke to the media before Saturday night's game for the first time in two weeks.
Springer was placed on the disabled list July 23 with a quad injury and still doesn't know when he will return to the lineup. He has been frustrated by how long it has taken him to get back on the field.
In short, the progress report on Springer is: no progress.
"I'm rehabbing, taking BP, not much has changed," Springer said. "I'm not to the point [where I can run 100 percent]. I'm just doing what I've got to do."
It's been difficult to judge if Springer is getting any better.
"I'm sticking to the plan and doing whatever they have me do," Springer said. "As of now, not much has changed."
Springer had been the Astros' most promising prospect for several years and he was finally promoted to Houston April 15. He hit .231 with 20 homers and 51 RBIs in 78 games before being injured.
"It's always hard to sit around," he said. "I want to be out there and play. You've got to trust [the medical staff]. We're doing everything we can. It's not fun. I want to be out there to help the team and compete. It's tough.
"You have to get healthy as fast as you can. But you can't rush an injury like this. You have to stick to [the rehab] and go slow. I don't think it's smart to play on an injury. You have a tendency to hurt it more. It takes time."
Former Houston manager Bo Porter had been preaching patience with Springer.
"He's just not ready to move forward with explosive activities," said Porter a couple of days before he was dismissed as manager. "He's not ready to take it to that next level. We're just not going to push him at this time. There is no timeline. We've tried to put a time line to it, and each time we do it doesn't come to fruition. Now we just go day to day and see how he progresses."
Is it possible that Springer could be done for the season?
"I think with a month to go in the season it would be premature to make that prediction today," Porter said. "We have a month, we'll continue to work with the trainer and if we can get over that hump, we'd love to have him back."
Gonzalez scratched from lineup with tight hamstring
HOUSTON -- With Astros leadoff hitter Robbie Grossman sidelined the past two games with a twisted left ankle, manager Bo Porter moved shortstop Marwin Gonzalez into the No. 1 spot in the batting order.
Gonzalez, batting leadoff for the first time this season, responded by going 4-for-8 in the two games with a pair of doubles, a walk and two RBIs.
Grossman, recovered from the ankle injury, returned to the top of the order for Saturday night's game against the Texas Rangers. But Gonzalez, who was scheduled to bat seventh, had to be pulled from the lineup because of a tight hamstring.
"I think it's just a one-day thing," Porter said of Gonzalez. "It's just a little bit tight. He's been playing really well and we don't want to risk anything moving forward. We'll give him the day, let him get treatment and hopefully [Sunday] he will be ready to go."
Gregorio Petit replaced Gonzalez in the starting lineup Saturday night. Gonzalez is 8-for-17 on the Houston homestand and has raised his average to .272.
"I've been feeling good when I play," Gonzalez said. "I'm being more selective, trying to be more patient at the plate. I've been seeing a lot of pitches, five or six pitches an at-bat."
"He's been swinging the bat well from both sides of the plate," Porter said of Gonzalez. "Putting him in [the leadoff] spot he was finding the holes and played well. Marwin's done a great job."
Gonzalez said he had batted leadoff in the Minors and also for a short time with the Astros in 2012.
"It's normal," he said. "I'll bat any place. I just want to be in the lineup. It doesn't matter if you're hitting ninth, eighth or leadoff."
• The Astros acquired right hander Samuel Deduno Saturday on waivers from the Minnesota Twins. To make room for Deduno, the Astros moved reliever Josh Zeid to the 60-day disabled list.
Deduno, 31, appeared in 30 games this season for the Twins, compiling a 2-5 record and 4.60 ERA. He made eight starts.
He had previously pitched in the Majors for Colorado and San Diego before joining the Twins in 2012.
• Double-A right-hander Ruben Alaniz received a 50-game suspension Saturday for his second positive test for drugs. Alaniz had an 0-0 record and 6.44 ERA for Corpus Christi in 14 games, one of them a start. He pitched a total of 29 1/3 innings.
Gene Duffey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.