Barmes swings for first time since injury

Barmes swings for first time since injury

HOUSTON -- Astros shortstop Clint Barmes, who broke a bone in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in a March 25 Spring Training game, continues to make solid progress and could make his Astros debut by the end of the month. Barmes swung a bat on Monday for the first time since suffering the injury, taking about 20 hacks without making any contact.

"It's definitely getting better day to day," Barmes said. "Dry swinging today, it was still sore and I could still feel it, but it's getting stronger. I can do a lot more with my hand in the weight room and can grip more things. It's definitely heading in the right direction.

"It's not there where I could start hitting off somebody throwing a ball to me. Hopefully, that's a couple of days away. Right now, we're taking it day to day for the most part. I'm pushing it pretty good and this is one thing I was looking forward to, was grabbing a bat and seeing how it was."

Barmes tipped his cap to Angel Sanchez, who has done a nice job filling in for him at shortstop. Sanchez entered Monday hitting .364 in 33 at-bats and led the team with four multi-hit games.

"I'm very happy for him and for us that he's stepped up, which isn't that surprising," Barmes said. "He can play the game. I saw him this spring, played with him all spring and I got see firsthand. He comes in and gets his work in and I couldn't be happier for him right now."