Astros manager A.J. Hinch provided optimistic updates today concerning the respective returns of infielders Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz. The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan reports that, according to Hinch, Correa has “looked great” in his rehab assignment thus far and is on track to be activated for this coming Friday’s game against the Cardinals (link); meanwhile, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart relays that Diaz is likely to return from his own rehab stint in the “next couple of days”(link).
Entering Saturday, Correa and Diaz have missed 45 games each since both were sidelined in a May 26th contest against the Red Sox. Correa, who had been enjoying a .295/.360/.547 season when he landed on the shelf, suffered a rib injury serious enough to warrant placement on the 60-day IL; if Correa does indeed make it back for Hinch’s Friday target date, he will have spent the minimum 60 days out of action.
Diaz, acquired in an offseason deal in exchange for starter Trent Thornton, was also off to a fine start to 2019 before tweaking his left hamstring. In reflection of his multi-positional role with the big club, the Swiss army man has been working at first base, left field, and second base with AAA Round Rock and AA Corpus Christi.
Of course, the Astros have managed to maintain an upper hand on the AL West in the absence of these key players, with a 27-18 record since Correa and Diaz went down on May 26th. At 62-37, they hold a 5.5-game lead over the Athletics in this year’s divisional race.