Astros manager AJ Hinch said Correa was sore and “never got loose, never felt comfortable,” so the Astros took him out of the game after he struck out in the first inning and sent him home for rest. Still, the manager sounded concerned about Correa considering his recent history of a significant back injury.
“I don’t like it at all,” Hinch said. “It’s not comfortable, but hopefully we’ll hope for the best.”
Hinch said Correa felt discomfort in his back when he turned to watch a hard-hit grounder off the bat of Miguel Cabrera in the top of the first inning. Correa was playing in to put pressure on Cabrera to put the ball in play, and the former MVP shot a grounder past him.
“That didn’t feel great,” Hinch said. “Then he came in [in the bottom of the inning] and took a couple of pitches for strikes. The last swing, he just came right to us and said he couldn’t go.”
Correa, who missed 50 games in the middle of this season with a fractured rib, struck out swinging in his first at-bat Monday against Edwin Jackson. He was replaced at shortstop to start the second inning by Jack Mayfield, who moved from second base. Jose Altuve, who was out of the lineup Monday for a day of rest, entered the game at second base.
Correa was out from June 29-Aug. 10 last year because of his back and struggled to get comfortable at the plate in the second half and playoffs. He hit the winter determined to be better conditioned, taking up yoga and vowing to work smarter this year on his conditioning.
Earlier this season, Correa detailed his new postgame workout regimen for his back, which takes him an hour to complete. He does foam-roll therapy and alternates between dunks in hot-water and cold-water tanks. The routine paid off because Correa was having a terrific season before he broke a rib getting a massage at his home May 28, landing him on the injured list again.