The big news of the day is the diagnosis of Carlos Correa's torn thumb ligament, requiring surgery that will keep him out from 6-8 weeks. Hinch:
I knew it wasn't good. He wasn't comfortable. It was different when he slid into home in Atlanta or different when he's been hit with a pitch in the elbow...There was an urgency to get off the field. Then, obviously the worst fear happened.
It's certainly easier to handle when he have a big lead, but we certainly don't want to do anything to blow that big lead. The pressure's going to be on everybody to keep winning.
It's obviously disappointing, but at the same time I've got to focus now on what I can control, and that's hopefully having a successful surgery and focusing on my rehab and hopefully be back late September so I'll be able to play in the playoffs, at least.
It's a tough blow. He's a big presence in our lineup...We'll absorb it and have the next man up and continue to play and get him better. We'll welcome him back sometime in September and move on, but there's no doubt that it's a punch in the gut when one of your best players is down for a while.
Correa's injury is similar to Mike Trout's injury that forced him to miss from the beginning of June through the All-Star Break. ESPN's Stephania Bell wrote about Trout's surgery and recovery process, if you want a general guideline of what to expect. Essentially (and again, we know more about Trout's thumb injury than we do Correa's at this point) it's not season-ending for Correa, and it's not power-sapping. When he comes back - before the end of the regular season - Correa should be 100%.
Trout missed 50 days of the season. Andrelton Simmons had a similar issue in 2016 and missed five weeks of the season. Let's say that Correa has surgery on Thursday, July 20. If we put the Trout timeline (with all the caveats that come with doing just that) on Correa then he would come back on September 8.
In the meantime, the Astros are going to fill the hole internally. Marwin has obviously been playing at an All-Star level and will likely see time at SS. The Astros called up Colin Moran, who was hitting .308/.373/.543 for Fresno this season. Moran has played 57 games at 3B, 15 games at 1B and, somehow, four games in the outfield. Moran will likely get most of his PAs while at 3B as the Astros can shift Bregman over to Short, or Marwin, or whatever bridges this precarious 15.5-game lead to the postseason. Bregman, Moran, and Gurriel can all play 3B. It's worth noting that Moran has a respectable .771 OPS against LHPs with a very nice .974 OPS against RHPs. He has 23 Major League plate appearances, so I hope he gets an actual look this time, though the length of Correa's expected recovery time would indicate that he will.
The Astros have a 15.5-game lead (pending tonight's result). Everyone else in the division is at or below .500. This means - if the Astros play .500 for the next 50 games - they wouldn't lose any actual ground because everyone else plays .500. The math is questionable, but I'm not arguing with a 90+ game sample. They're going to the playoffs.
Shut up about Alex Bregman. He's fine.