George Springer suffered a quad injury in late July, one that didn't seem all that serious in Major League Baseball. He missed a couple of weeks of action and returned to the lineup for the Houston Astros. Entering that day the Astros were playing .634 baseball, and they had a huge lead in the AL West division. Fast forward to August 23rd and the ASTRO's huge lead is now down to a very big lead as they enter Wednesday with a .608 winning percentage. That the Astros are struggling at this point in their season is clear. What fans should be worried about is that Springer hasn't been the same since returning from injury.

Springer's OPS is down

Including Tuesday's game against the Washington Nationals, Springer has taken 48 at bats since his return. His OPS since returning is just .687, and he only has one home run in the 12 games combined. Furthermore, he has just two doubles, and his stats certainly don't compare well to what he posted before suffering the July quad injury.

During July, Springer had a 1.083 OPS. He only had three homeruns in the month, but it wasn't a full month of work. He had half-dozen doubles to go with those dingers, but mainly he hit for a very high batting average during the month. Why has Springer slumped? That's a matter of conjecture, and there are three things to look at.

Springer might still be feeling something wrong

Firstly, like all trends that are measured it could just be a statistical fluke. However, two other reasons, neither of which are mutually exclusive, could be that Springer is feeling the effects of the injury still or that he's getting pitched differently as the Astros juggle around their lineup.

The Astros have other injured players, namely Carlos Correa, and that has produced a different batting order than the one that Houston fans saw for the first few months of the 2017 season. When it comes to batting, it's largely considered an individual performance in each at bat, but the fact is that pitchers approach a hitter differently based on who is coming up next.

It could be that Springer isn't getting the pitches to hit with Houston's current lineup. However given that he bats leadoff, it's more likely that Springer is still feeling some effects from the injury that he suffered.

Springer's small slump is a little below the radar right now. A part of that is that .687 isn't egregious and it has only been 48 at bats. However, Houston fans should be very aware of what Springer does at the plate and what Correa brings to the team when he makes his return. This Astros team has given a lot of wins back in the last five weeks, and they are in danger of falling below .600. They did, however, buy themselves a margin for error with the start that they had this season. Things may yet work out, but as ALCS favorites (source: bet365) right now the Astros appear to be over-rated.