Astros shortstop Carlos Correa announced today at a team benefit that he underwent surgery to repair a deviated septum last Monday. The nasal affliction, said the 24-year-old, was inhibiting his ability to breathe normally, especially when running the bases. Arguably the centerpiece of the team’s 2017 championship run, the former #1 overall pick slumped to a career-worst .239/.323/.405 games last season. He especially struggled in the season’s second half, posting a putrid 45 wRC+ and 24% hard contact rate over 133 PA following a return from the DL after a bout of lower back soreness. During multiple gatherings with the reporters on a crusty Minute Maid Park surface, the former Rookie of the Year made no effort to draw a nexus between the respiratory issues and his poor performance, but did note that he doesn’t expect to have surgery to address the lower-back ailment, with the Houston Chronicle’s Brian T. Smith tweeting that the shortstop is “doing well” right now.
In other news from around the division . . .
- On the heels of a wildly successful 2018 season, the A’s have announced changes to the team’s player development program, reports The Athletic’s Melissa Lockard. The club, apparently, is piggybacking on recent trends in the rookie-level Arizona League, where select teams – namely, the Padres, Indians, Cubs, and Giants – have added a second ’affiliate’ to compete in the league. In this case, it seems the move is an effort to acclimate newly-signed international players to the American way of life (and professional baseball in the country) at a far more rapid rate than in the past. Eddie Menchaca, who managed the lone AZL affiliate for the club last year, will reprise his role as manager for one of the teams, in addition to fulfilling his newly-appointed duties as Latin American player development supervisor. The club’s farm, responsible in no small part for the team’s periodic, oft-unforeseen success over the last two decades, is ranked middle-of-the-pack in Baseball America’s latest update.
- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News cites a source “close” to Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre in declaring that a decision on the 39-year-old’s future could come “within a week or so.” Beltre, of course, is deeply contemplating retirement, with a recent report by FanCred’s Jon Heyman noting that “the belief” is that the 21-year-veteran is leaning in that direction. If he is to return, Beltre seems to have given conflicting directives in the way of his future, with Grant noting that the Ranger dignitary “would like” to return to Texas but is most interested in playing for a contending team, of which category the 2019 Rangers are decidedly unlikely to fall into. The article, which details possible positional alignments for the 2019 club, in addition to revelatory quotes from GM Jon Daniels, is well worth a full read for Ranger fans of all sorts.