The Houston Astros Shouldn’t Call Up Carlos Correa Just Yet


Jed Lowrie‘s injury was an unfortunate one, as one of the hotter bats in the Astros lineup hit the DL.  Throw in the fact that Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Villar have been the two people responsible for replacing him, and it could be a disastrous problem.

However, many see a solution to the problem.  It doesn’t involve a trade or even a free agent signing, but rather a simple call to AA manager, Rodney Linares, to keep a certain name out of the lineup: Carlos Correa.

I understand Correa is tearing up AA pitching.  I understand that Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Villar aren’t exactly great baseball players.  I also understand the excitement to see the number one prospect in a stacked farm system finally make his major league debut.  But it’s not time quite yet.

Correa has exactly 102 at-bats at the AA level in his career.  Bryce Harper, who was thought of as a much better prospect than Correa while he was a minor leaguer, had 129 AA at bats, plus another 74 at bats in AAA.

I said at the beginning of the season that I wouldn’t expect to see Correa this year unless he makes an absolute embarrassment of AA pitching, which he is doing right now.  GM Jeff Luhnow said he would like to see Correa play against teams for a second time to see how he handles teams game-planning for him and pitchers having a clue of what he’s like at the plate.  That circuit just started last week, and so far he’s succeeding.

It’s unfortunate he injured his leg last year, because without the injury he probably would’ve been in an Astros uniform in April.  Rushing the team’s greatest prospect because the team is finally having some success would be a rash decision.

That’s just the baseball side of things.  The business side of things incentivizes waiting as well.

Player’s that accrue a certain amount of service days in a year gain an extra year of arbitration and are given “super-two” status.  Players that achieve “super-two” status gain an extra year of arbitration, which can result in a gain of millions of dollars contractually.

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Once sixty service days have passed in a season, players cannot achieve super two status.  Teams get over half a season of production from a player, but they get three seasons with renewable contracts and four seasons of arbitration before a player hits the free agent market.  Teams usually wait until early June to call up their top prospects to ensure that sixty service days have passed.

That’s why Jon Singleton, although he signed that long-term deal, Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Villar, and other “top prospects” have made their debuts in early June in past years.

I would expect to see Correa in the majors towards the end of the first week of June, which will give him about a month and a half before the return of Jed Lowrie.  More decisions will need to be made then, but that’s another story.  Correa should get a promotion to AAA within the next week or two according to reports, but he likely won’t see the Majors until early June.

We’ve waited this long Astros fans, let’s not lose our patience now.

Next: The Houston Astros SHOULD Pursue Cole Hamels

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