Following a conclusion of the game simply known as henceforth “The Balk Affair”, the Astros welcome back their regular shortstop.
Injuries have been a thorn in the Astros side as of late. Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, George Springer, Lance McCullers, Brian McCann, and Chris Devenski were all on the DL together just on Wednesday. When there are injuries to a decent portion of a team’s star players, well, winning becomes a bit more difficult.
Despite the injury pile up in recent weeks, the Astros managed to pull off a 6-2 road trip through Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco before dropping the first game of their home stand. A 6-3 record in the past nine games isn’t too shabby. Now, there will be some reinforcements coming to help the cause.
Correa, who was hampered with back discomfort since late June, is scheduled to resume his 2018 major league campaign on Friday against the Mariners. Before his injury, the age-23 shortstop was hitting .268/.352/.480 with 13 home runs and a 127 wRC+. During his 36-game absence, the Astros compiled a 21-15 record (.583 winning percentage) while battling the A’s and Mariners in the AL West.
To make room on the active roster for Correa, the Astros sent infielder J.D. Davis back to Fresno. In 93 plate appearances across three separate stints with major league club this season, Davis slashed a .176/.247/.235 batting line with only one home run and a 37 wRC+. He will look to pick up where he left off in Fresno where he was batting .340/.396/.535 with eight home runs and a 142 wRC+.
The return of Correa is a welcomed sight for a lineup that has lacked a bit of firepower in recent weeks. This development will also allow manager AJ Hinch a bit more flexibility with his infield. Until Altuve’s return, I would look for Marwin Gonzalez and Yuli Gurriel to continue to split time at second base. Tyler White, who has a 169 wRC+ across 75 major league plate appearances, will likely see additional time at first base. Alex Bregman will now slide back over to third base full-time.