Fowler back from intercostal strain today

Fowler back from intercostal strain today

HOUSTON -- Center fielder Dexter Fowler, who's been out since June 26 with an intercostal strain, will return to the Astros' starting lineup Wednesday afternoon against the Twins after completing his Minor League rehab assignment, the team said Tuesday.

Fowler played four rehab games at Triple-A Oklahoma City without any medical issues, going 3-for-10. In his first season with the Astros, he was batting .270 with a .377 on-base percentage and six homers and 24 RBIs in 76 games, so his offense was certainly missed.

He joins the lineup just as the team found out rookie outfielder George Springer would be out for another two weeks as he continues to rehab a quad strain.

"Dexter had no issues at all in his rehab, so he'll be ready to go," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "We'll need him. He's a missed part of our lineup, as well, and without those two guys, quite frankly, it's a different team. We need them both, and we'll take what we can get right now, which is one of those guys now and another in a couple of weeks."

Astros manager Bo Porter said Jake Marisnick, who's been playing center since coming over in a trade from the Marlins two weeks ago, would slide over to right to accommodate Fowler.

"I thought Dexter and George would be back at the same time, if not one right behind the other," Porter said. "With George being set back, Marisnick will move to right field, just looking at the configuration of our ballpark. We'll see what we'll do in left field."

Expect Robbie Grossman, who hit .250 with a .396 on-base percentage in his first 28 games since being recalled July 8, to get most of the playing time in left.

"Robbie Grossman has done a good job," Porter said. "He's swinging the bat well, he's taking his walks. He looks more aggressive at balls early in the strike zone. We will continue to give him opportunity as well."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for 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.