Houston Astros: Carlos Correa’s return may be later than we think

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa has been recently moved to the 60-Day IL. This move could indicate that his return may be later than we think. What?

As the Houston Astros are getting more healthy by the day, with the news of reliever Joe Smith returning back to the lineup, I’m sure many of us are curious as to how the rest of the guys are progressing with their injuries.

The Houston Astros are in terrific position at the moment with a six-game lead over the Oakland Athletics with a 58-35 record.

They’re deep in just about every area positional-wise but can certainly use a bolster on the pitching front.  They need another starting pitcher as well as a reliever to help our arms from getting as tired as they have been.

There were some tough weeks they had in June and the Houston Astros were flipping guys faster than a real estate investor in a seller’s market.  But somehow, this team figured out a way to prevail and now they’re back at it, facing the Texas Arlington Rangers in a four-game set that started this past Thursday.

But as Smith came on to the 25-man roster, somebody had to be moved in order to make room for him.  The decision was made to add Carlos Correa to the 60-Day injured list meaning that he’s eligible to return as early as July 26.

That happens to be when the Houston Astros take on the St. Louis Cardinals in a rare interleague — since 2013 at least — series between the two teams.  The Cards are still very much in the conversation for a Wild Card — let alone a win of the division — as the race still remains quite tight throughout.

There’s not more than a six-game lead among any team in that division so it’s too close to call on who’s going to be the winner there.  Unlike the AL West where the Houston Astros are the clear-cut favorite to win it for the third straight season.

But it’s up in the air if Correa, who has been out with a rib injury from what likely was one hell of a massage, since May 26.  He and Aledmys Diaz (hamstring strain) are in West Palm Beach, Fla. at the team’s Spring Training facility completing their rehabilitation.

The latest word is that Diaz will come up first out of the two and it’s expected that Correa’s initial rehab assignment will be extensive to ensure he’s feeling okay and that he can handle the rigors of being back in the lineup every day.

UPDATE: Correa and Diaz are set to start their rehab assignment tomorrow at Triple-A Round Rock.  It still remains to be seen how long they will be there but I’m hoping for the best.

That’s less than two weeks away; and quite frankly, I don’t think Correa will be ready by then,

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considering the process of what it takes to knock the rust off.  The Houston Astros waited nearly a month to call up Smith back into the lineup and I’d expect for the team to do the same with Correa.

Although the team is holding the fort down, they could certainly use is invaluable services.  He’ll be back soon enough but I’m personally slating his return to be around mid-August at the earliest.

It will be right around the time the Houston Astros typically hit their stride going into the final stretch of the season and Correa will certainly be helping within that last push to the finish line.

Could things be earlier than my prediction?  Absolutely but the Houston Astros are going to take their time with him as he will definitely be needed — as well as healthy — when the postseason arrives in October.

But nonetheless, it will be great to see him back when he does make his way into the lineup.

Keep grinding Carlos — go Houston Astros!

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Before his injury, Correa had a slash line of .295/.356/.484 for a .840 OPS along with 11 homers and 35 RBIs through 190 at-bats in 50 games.