Checking in on a few AL West clubs…
- The Astros made shortstop Carlos Correa a late scratch for their game Tuesday after he complained of tightness in his lower back, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. Considering how important Correa is to the World Series contenders’ cause, not to mention his history of back issues, it looked like a startling development for the club. Manager A.J. Hinch brushed off concerns about Correa’s status, though, saying: “It sounds a lot worse than what it seems like it is. But when you make a proactive move there’s going to be some sense of curiosity as to what it is. But it is very important for us to be smart this week.”
- While Correa appears to be fine, teammate Collin McHugh continues to look as if he’s done for the season. The Astros halted the right-hander’s throwing program last week after a setback with his injured elbow, and he still hasn’t resumed throwing, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com tweets. With that in mind, we may have seen McHugh take the mound in a Houston uniform for the last time. The sixth-year Astro is set to become a free agent after the season. Overall, the year has been an injury-riddled disappointment for McHugh, but he has rebounded as a reliever after beginning 2019 in disastrous fashion as a starter.
- It’s “fairly evident” Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo won’t play again this season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. Gallo, who has been out since June 24 with a right hamate fracture, hasn’t swung a bat during the recovery process. With the season just about over for the eliminated Rangers, there’s no sense in rushing the star slugger back. Meanwhile, designated hitter Hunter Pence is definitely done for the year, Wilson relays. The Rangers have also had to go for a while without Pence, whom a back injury has shelved for just over a month. While the soon-to-be 37-year-old Pence wants to return to the Rangers in 2020, it’s unclear how motivated they’ll be to re-sign the pending free agent.
- After an arduous recovery from the fractured right tibia he suffered July 2, it appears Angels infielder Tommy La Stella will make it back this season. Assuming La Stella gets through a base-running session unscathed on Wednesday, he could see time at DH during the Angels’ season-ending series against Houston, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. La Stella’s devastating injury came shortly before what would have been the 30-year-old’s first All-Star appearance – an honor he earned thanks to a .300/.353/.495 line and a career-high 16 home runs in 312 plate appearances.