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Astros: the Curious Case of Carlos Correa’s Slump Continues

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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If you look at Carlos Correa’s entire body of work since the start of the season, it is certainly a curious scenario for a man who could be worth $300 million-plus during his impending free agency.

While some fans are busy arguing what they think Correa’s contract is worth, there are many who are just concerned about his decline in play over the past few months and how it may impact the team’s success for the of this season and into the post-season.

Well, I am here to provide some solace on the subject of Correa, at least in terms of his performance on the field this season. Before we get into this, let me first preface this article with the fact that the MLB season is long. The Houston Astros have played 112 games as of when this article was written.

Like every team out there, the Astros have had their fair share of struggles in the lineup, then the struggles moved to the bullpen and now struggles seem to be settling on the rotation at the moment. That’s the thing. This game is fickle. Yet, the Astros are still projecting to win 98 games:

Although Carlos Correa’ slump continues, the Houston Astros are still projected to take the AL West, but when will it end?

So, there is no solid reason to panic about the rest of the season, post-season or Correa. In the midst of what likely could be his final season with the Houston Astros, Correa is actually having a pretty solid season. Relatively speaking, his season is in-line with how he performed in previous seasons, the exception being his MVP-like performance in 2017.

Correa is slashing .268/.363/.476 with eighteen home runs, sixty runs-batted-in, and an .839 OPS. The right-hander is currently on pace for twenty-five home runs, which would be a career high. The aforementioned Marty Coleman wrote how, in spite of Correa’s slump, he has been able to add value to the Houston Astros defensively.

I will take that a step further and say, on the field of play, Carlos Correa is on another planet defensively. He only trails Texas Rangers’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa in defensive wins-above-replacement amongst qualified shortstops this season…and the separation is three-tenths of a point. It is also worth noting that Correa has six fewer errors than Kiner-Falefa on the season, as well.

Maybe Correa’s full body of contributions this season aren’t enough to give you comfort as we get closer and closer to October baseball. There is no doubt that Correa has put together a pretty dismal offense performance from the All-Star break to this point.

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Since the break, Correa is slashing .189/.265/.338 with a .603 OPS in that time period. He has accumulated just seven extra base hits through eighty-three at-bats. All of this on top of spending time on the COVID-19 IL. This time on the IL clearly adding to his struggles, as reported by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

That said, eighty-three at bats are not at all indicative of the abilities of a player. No doubt Correa has some offensive fire in him that will surely reveal itself.

Correa seems to thrive in the big moments, regardless of the score or his performance. That was never more evident than when Correa sent a 2-2 changeup over the left field wall off rival Los Angeles Dodger, Joe Kelly.

Okay, maybe you aren’t convinced Correa will right the ship based on one hyped-up moment? Let me share this with you then. In the final month of the 2020 season, Carlos Correa slashed a piddling .235/.367/.341, had a .608 OPS, and only managed five extra base hits.

Through postseason play during that same season, Carlos Correa went on to slash .362/.455/.766 with a 1.221 OPS with six home runs and seventeen runs-batted-in through thirteen games. The man wasn’t dubbed “Showrrea” without reason.

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Now if you want to argue about whether or not the man is worth a $300 million plus contract, that is certainly a different conversation. For those Houston Astros fans concerned for this season, there are fifty games remaining. Let’s relax.

During the final stretch of games here, the best thing for Correa can do is focus on staying healthy, keeping a consistent with his approach at the plate, playing stellar defense, and being that emotional leader for the Houston Astros.

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