Astros shortstop Carlos Correa missed over a month last year because of a back problem. With this season’s playoffs approaching, the Astros placed Correa on the injured list Wednesday with more back issues, though he and the club are optimistic he won’t stay on the shelf for long this time. Correa underwent an MRI that showed no structural damage, and he doesn’t think his injury’s “serious,” Brian McTaggart of MLB.com tweets.
General manager Jeff Luhnow took a fairly optimistic tone when discussing Correa’s status Thursday, saying (via Mark Berman of Fox 26): “We’re waiting to see how he responds to treatment. So we’ll know more in the coming days. In my mind the calendar I have, is that he’s gonna be rehabbing and probably playing in minor league games the first week of September and hopefully back with the big league team the second week of September. If that happens I think it means that he’ll have three weeks of regular season left and whatever’s after that.”
For Houston, which owns the American League’s second-best record (81-47), “whatever’s after” the regular season will surely be at least one playoff series. The Astros rank among this year’s most dominant teams thanks in part to Correa, who has slashed .278/.358/.556 with 19 home runs and 2.9 fWAR in 340 plate appearances. However, they’ve shown little let-up in the face of injuries to Correa, who previously missed over a month with a broken rib, or other mashers such as George Springer and Jose Altuve. The club selected Abraham Toro from Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday, and he’ll initially get a chance at the hot corner while all-world third baseman Alex Bregman slides from third to short to cover for Correa.
The Astros are also dealing with significant adversity in their bullpen, which just lost right-hander Ryan Pressly for four to six weeks on account of arthroscopic knee surgery. Luhnow acknowledged Thursday that the injury to Pressly is “a blow,” though the executive’s taking a “glass half full” approach and hoping the 30-year-old will be back to tune up before the playoffs (via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). Pressly has been marvelous this year, his first All-Star campaign, having recorded a 2.50 ERA/2.83 FIP with 11.62 K/9, 1.97 BB/9 and a 50.8 percent groundball rate over 50 1/3 innings. It’s fair to say the Astros won’t be operating at full strength come playoff time without Pressly at 100 percent.