OKC RedHawks: Records could be set during RedHawks' next homestand

Hawks have 17-game win streak at the Brick; George Springer tries to join 40-40 club.
by Michael Baldwin Published: August 25, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma City's George Springer (8) hits a home run in the third inning during a minor league baseball game between the Albuquerque Isotopes and the Oklahoma City RedHawks at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's George Springer (8) hits a home run in the third inning during a minor league baseball game between the Albuquerque Isotopes and the Oklahoma City RedHawks at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Since Springer will be in the lineup everyday once he's promoted, one reason for keeping the future star in OKC is the Astros can evaluate players such as Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes who might flank Springer in future years at Minute Maid Park.

Another factor is Springer will benefit from additional Triple-A seasoning. Two years removed from leading the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament, Springer has played in only 56 Triple-A games.

Luhnow hinted Springer will remain with the RedHawks even when rosters expand in September.

“It's important some of these guys stay here to try and win a championship,” Luhnow said. “Guys like Jon Singleton and George Springer have a chance to do something special. I don't want to take that away from anybody.”

The RedHawks will be in the playoffs. It's not official, but they're close to clinching the Pacific Coast League American Southern Division title.

Posting a 27-11 record since the All-Star break, the RedHawks haven't lost at the Brick since July 14, their final game before the All-Star break.

A 12-0 homestand — four-game sweeps over Iowa, Reno and Colorado Springs — vaulted the RedHawks to the top of the standings. The streak continued a week ago with a five-game sweep of Albuquerque that essentially wrapped up the division title.

Still, the big story is Springer.

In 129 games in Double-A and Triple-A, Springer is hitting .302 with 37 homers, with 102 runs, 105 RBIs and a .413 on-base percentage.

The eight-game homestand and the playoffs — the RedHawks will host Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-5 series Sept. 4-5 — probably will be the final chance for OKC fans to see Springer, projected to be the Astros starting center fielder for years to come.

“We'll make the decision on when's the right time for Singleton and Springer and some of the others to join us in Houston,” Luhnow said. “Right now we want them to focus on winning here.”

by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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