HOUSTON -- Coming off a breakthrough road trip in which he batted .400 with six homers and 12 RBIs in eight games, outfielder George Springer was met with a throng of reporters at his locker prior to Thursday's series opener against the Orioles.
Everyone wanted to hear from the hotshot rookie, but veteran catcher Carlos Corporan slid into Springer's chair and acted as spokesman until his teammate was ready. Corporan pulled the nameplate off the top of Springer's locker and held it up as he talked to reporters from the chair.
"He's the man," Corporan said. "The way he's been playing, the way he's been carrying himself, it's amazing."
Springer got off to a slow start after being called up two weeks into the season, hitting .191 in his first 17 games. He didn't hit his first home run until his 78th Major League at-bat, but since then he hasn't slowed down, entering Thursday with a team-high nine homers -- all of them hit in May.
"In the beginning, [Springer] was kind of struggling, and he told me one day, 'I just need to hit one homer, and that will come,'" Corporan said. "He didn't lie. It's pretty amazing. Hopefully, he'll stay forever, right?'"
Corporan eventually ceded the chair to the man the reporters came to hear.
"It was obviously good to get that first [home run] out of the way, but I understand I'm going to go out, and I'm going to play hard and hit the ball, and the home runs will come, along with the infield singles," Springer said. "You just have to go out and play and be who you are."
Springer had six homers in the six games prior to Thursday and was riding a 10-game hitting streak. He's the only rookie in franchise history with six homers in a six-game span. The previous Astros player to do that was Morgan Ensberg, in 2006.
"This an extremely historic franchise," Springer said. "They've had some great players over its history. It's an honor, but there's more to be done."