Correa, Diaz unlikely to contribute before break

'Their rehab calendars are still in pencil,' Hinch says

June 20th, 2019

NEW YORK -- Getting back was a long-awaited step toward full strength for the Astros lineup. More reinforcements like catcher and center fielder could be on the way soon. But Houston fans might not see two other big pieces -- and -- until the second half.

"I'm not sure they're going to factor into the Major League team prior to the All-Star break," Astros manager AJ Hinch said before Thursday's series opener against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. "Their rehab calendars are still in pencil, and we're closing in on the last homestand before we hit July. I know Correa won't be available. I think the hope is that Diaz is a little bit ahead of Correa."

Correa has been out since May 26, after suffering a fractured rib during a massage at his house. The 24-year-old shortstop was hitting .295/.360/.547 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 50 games prior to the injury.

Diaz has been out just as long. The 28-year-old was proving to be a valuable depth infielder in his first season in Houston, hitting .286/.321/.510 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 32 games.

Correa and Diaz are doing various exercises and working with the Astros' rehab staff in Houston, Hinch said.

Altuve a full go
Altuve had no issues the day after his first big league game since May 10, when he strained his left hamstring. The second baseman has no restrictions entering the series in New York, and Hinch said he expects Altuve to play all four games.

"Jose is great," Hinch said. "He'll play as normal."

Altuve was in the starting lineup at second base and batting third, a day after going 0-for-4 in Cincinnati.

Stassi not back yet
Stassi, on the 10-day injured list with left knee soreness, did not join the Astros in New York on Thursday.

He caught back-to-back days in his rehab assignment at Double-A Corpus Christi on Tuesday and Wednesday, which seemed like it could be the last hurdle to clear before his return to the big league club. He still might rejoin the team during the Yankees series, but Hinch said before Thursday's game that has not been determined.

"We'll see," Hinch said. "We'll meet today and decide what's next for him."

Smith starting rehab
Right-handed reliever starts his rehab assignment at Corpus Christi on Friday. He has been out all season as he recovers from left Achilles surgery in December.