The Astros defeated the Tigers on Monday to improve to 80-46, but the World Series hopefuls didn’t escape unscathed. Star shortstop Carlos Correa left the game with discomfort in his back, the team announced. Manager A.J. Hinch said afterward Correa’s day-to-day, but he admitted: “I don’t like it. It’s not comfortable.” (Twitter links via Mark Berman of Fox 26).
Hinch’s trepidation stems from the fact that back issues have been a past problem for Correa, who missed over a month last summer because of them. With this year’s playoffs just around the corner, a similar absence would be cutting things awfully close for Houston. Plus, the Astros just lost fellow shortstop option Aledmys Diaz to the injured list Sunday, though they’ve passed plenty of tests without him and Correa this season. Both players have spent weeks on the IL to this point, yet the Astros still own what should be an insurmountable eight-game lead in the AL West.
Correa previously suffered a fractured rib in a massage gone wrong May 28, causing him to sit out until July 26. While the Astros managed an impressive 31-19 record during that span, it’s obvious they aren’t at the height of their considerable powers without Correa. The 24-year-old has been brilliant over 310 plate appearances this season, slashing .278/.358/.556 with 19 home runs and 2.9 fWAR.