The big question in Houston is when will we finally see Carlos Correa don the blue and orange of the Astros? Evan Drellich offered some insight into that question yesterday when he talked to Astros GM Jeff Luhnow. In the article Luhnow said that he wants Correa “to face Texas League opponents more than once to see how he fares against presumably modified game plans. I don’t know (if he needs to go) through the whole thing, but I want a couple teams to come back and say, ‘OK, well, we faced this guy last time, how are we going to get him out this time and have a plan of attack?'”
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Luhnow goes on to say that Correa could be called up to Fresno sometime this month. Following Luhnow’s logic, and assuming that the same rule applies in Fresno, let’s see if we can guesstimate when Carlos Correa could get his first crack at the big leagues.
Here is a look at his statistics the first time through the schedule in the Texas League:
In total the first go around, he went 22-for-59 (.373) with 18 rbi on four home runs and nine strikeouts. Seems like the opposing pitchers didn’t figure him out on their first look. Now, let’s compare that to how these same teams have fared the second time facing Correa.
The totals this time through are even better, with Correa going 17-for-39 (.436) with 10 rbi on two home runs and eleven strikeouts. For me, the batting average is the key component, but I’m also in the get him to Houston camp. Through an objective eye, one could imagine that the strikeout total rising in fewer at-bats could be a concern, although it isn’t in Houston so that’s a stretch.
One could make the case to either promote Correa immediately, or keep him in Corpus based on these results. It depends on what your end game is. With Luhnow’s end game being to help the big-league club as much as possible, I’d have to imagine that Carlos Correa will be on your favorite mode of transport towards Fresno by the end of next week. The Hooks are currently playing Midland (A’s) for the next three days, and after that will take on San Antonio and Frisco (for the third time). The Frisco series ends on Monday May 17th, and if I had to predict, his promotion will come after that game.
Using the 17th as his last date in Corpus, the 18th would be his first day with Fresno and the new team. On that date, the Grizzlies will be visiting El Paso, in the midst of a four-game set with the Chihuahuas. Going through the Grizzlies schedule, the earliest date that he would re-play an opponent with Fresno would be June 23, giving him a little over a month in Triple-A. Following that series with the Sacramento River Cats (Giants), the next two opponents are also duplicates in Reno and El Paso, with the last game of those series coming on Friday, July 3rd.
A week and a half later is the Triple-A All-Star game (13th-15th), which would provide the perfect opportunity to call up the 20 year old shortstop. The MLB All-Star game is right around this time, and coming out of the break, Houston will be taking on the Rangers at home July 17-19. Just before the break, the team will be on the road in Boston, Cleveland and Tampa Bay.
The problem here is that Jed Lowrie is expected to return right around this same time for the Astros. Yet, even with Lowrie’s impending return at this point in time, the biggest question may be how well the Astros are performing up to this point and if Correa is still red-hot.
If the time is right, we could see Carlos Correa in Houston in mid-July. This guesstimate is a bit conservative, as he could obviously be fast-tracked if Jonathan Villar continues to be Villar-esque, but this timeline gives Correa the most development in the minors, while also getting him to Houston in the quickest possible fashion. The larger issue is that Luhnow wants Correa to be ready to stay when he comes up. Only time will tell with that one.