Astros place Correa, Sanchez on IL, call up Straw, Sneed

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 25: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros celebrates after hitting a walk off single in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on May 25, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 25: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros celebrates after hitting a walk off single in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on May 25, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The Astros injured list suddenly gets longer with both Carlos Correa and Aaron Sanchez going down.

The Astros added shortstop Carlos Correa and pitcher Aaron Sanchez to the injured list and called up Myles Straw and Cy Sneed to take their places on the roster. They will join Aledmys Diaz and Josh James on the team’s IL.

Correa was removed from Monday’s game with back stiffness, though the injury is not considered serious. It’s possible he will return once his 10-day IL stint is up. This is his second time on the IL this year after breaking a rib in late May during a massage at his home.

Sanchez was pulled early from his Tuesday start against the Tigers due to markedly decreased velocity. He admitted he’d been dealing with a sore right pectoral muscle and will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. At this point, there’s no definite timetable for his return.

The speedy Straw returns to the Astros after spending nearly all of August at Triple-A. He’s hit .244/.361/.305 in 40 games in the majors this year with seven stolen bases in eight attempts. He’s hitting .313/.388/.393 at Round Rock with 19 steals in 60 games.

Sneed has made four relief appearances for the Astros this year, posting a 4.26 ERA in 12.2 innings. He has a 4.22 ERA at Round Rock over nine starts and nine relief appearances.

How They’ll Replace Correa and Sanchez

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With Straw joining Jack Mayfield on the roster, both of them will likely see some time at shortstop. Alex Bregman is also a candidate to play there, with Mayfield or Yuli Gurriel playing third base. Since Correa’s injury doesn’t seem serious, this should be a short-term fix.

Sanchez’s case is more interesting since it’s not known how long he will be out. Brad Peacock recently rejoined the Astros, pitching 1.2 innings of relief on Tuesday. Even though he was a starter for most of the year, he rehabbed as a reliever, so he’s probably not sufficiently stretched out to rejoin the rotation at this point.

The Astros would likely prefer to keep Peacock in the bullpen anyway, since that’s how he’ll be used in the postseason. As long as the other four starters are healthy, Peacock won’t be needed in the rotation, so they will probably fill Sanchez’s spot with someone else until the regular season is over or Sanchez returns.

Sneed would be the obvious candidate currently on the roster to take Sanchez’s place. He’s yet to make his first major league start, but he’s more stretched out than Peacock, so he could get the nod. He’s done relatively well in long relief so he’s probably earned a shot.

Since Sanchez’s turn won’t come up until Sunday, the Astros have some time to decide. They could also send Sneed back down before Sunday’s game and call someone up to make a spot start. Framber Valdez would be a possibility, as he’s pitched to a 3.33 ERA with 40 strikeouts in his last four starts for Round Rock. Jose Urquidy would also be an option, as he threw five innings of two-run ball on Tuesday.

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By that point, Joe Biagini would be eligible to be called back up if the Astros wanted to do that. They could also keep Sneed, Valdez or Urquidy on the roster as the fifth starter if Sanchez is out for an extended period of time.

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