Injuries to Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are the latest in a spate of training room setbacks for the Houston Astros.
But what do they mean? Well, I suspect that the Astros will continue to limp along with little problem.
Yes, they will miss these stars, particularly Correa.
Correa was cruising along with a .295 batting average, 11 home runs, and 35 RBIs in 50 games this year. But rib pain scratched him from Tuesday’s lineup, and further tests showed that the 24-year-old shortstop has a cracked rib. He is now on the injured list, expected to be out of the lineup for three weeks.
Altuve was already on the injured list and seeking a return by re-habbing in the minors. But he reportedly was feeling fatigue and soreness his right leg after playing a few games with the Round Rock AAA team.
Altuve had surgery on his right knee after the 2018 season, so these latest aches don’t bode well for his availability on a consistent basis. The second baseman has played in 39 games this year, carrying a .243 average with 9 homers and 21 RBIs.
The Astros have been dealing with a series of nicks and bruises lately. Most notable has been the hamstring strain of .308 hitter George Springer.
The outfielder was put on the 10-day DL on May 25, and the decision to bring him back will be day to day.
That adds to an injured list that includes pitchers Collin McHugh and Joe Smith, catcher Max Stassi and shortstop Aledmys Diaz.
Hinch’s Juggling Act
So A.J. Hinch is doing the patch job that managers have to do in times like these. Drawing from a rich list of players, Hinch has done pretty well.
The recent series with the Chicago Cubs was an example of the Astros roster juggling. Jack Mayfield was called up to fill in at short, and he walked and scored a run in the Astros 9-6 win. Tony Kemp, in only his fifth career start at second base, went 1-for-4 and scored a run.
Derek Fisher was leading off, Yuli Gurriel was at third and batting clean-up, and Garrett Stubbs made his major league debut behind the plate.
Look for this kind of roster realignment as the Astros take the road for seven games at AL West foes Oakland and Seattle. They get back home and out of the division on June 7, when the Baltimore Orioles come to town.
It will be worth tickets to Minute Maid Park to see how the lineup looks then.
The good news is that the Astros carry a 7 ½-game lead in the division, giving them some breathing room for recovery.