CLEVELAND -- Left fielder Robbie Grossman, who hasn't played since injuring his oblique while swinging the bat Sept. 3 against the Twins, was able to hit a baseball off the tee Friday, but still doesn't appear close to returning to action.
Grossman hit safely in 29 of 35 games after being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on July 27, batting .322 with nine doubles, four homers, 18 RBIs, seven walks and four stolen bases. Grossman said his oblique feels "100 times" better, but it's still sore when he swings.
"It's frustrating, because I want to be out there to help these guys," he said. "Just to be out there to play, that's what I miss about it the most. I'm trying to get better."
Astros manager Bo Porter said he doesn't want to risk putting Grossman in a game and making the injury worse.
"You just don't want to put a guy in the game who's unable to swing pain-free, and he ends up having a setback and it lingers into the offseason," Porter said. "He'll continue to get treatment, and hopefully we'll get him to the point he can swing pain-free. We'd love to get him back in there."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.