Feb 17, 2011, 9:27 PM EDT
Astros infielder Jeff Keppinger didn’t have the best offseason. First the ‘Stros traded for Bill Hall and named him their starting second baseman, pushing the 30-year-old Keppinger into a backup role. Then the guy found out in January that he needed surgery to remove a sesamoid bone from his left foot.
Keppinger is not going to be ready for the start of the season. In fact, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com is saying that Keppinger will miss the first six weeks.
He was in a walking boot Thursday in camp and said he’s only “hoping” to get out of it by next week.
Once Keppinger returns to full health, he will be used in a utility infield role, getting limited looks behind Hall at second base and Clint Barmes at short. He batted .288/.351/.393 with six home runs, 59 RBI and 62 runs scored across 137 games last year.