Correa sits with tight back as Astros play it safe

September 25th, 2019

SEATTLE -- Astros shortstop said he plans to be in the lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against the Mariners.

Correa was scratched from the lineup prior to Tuesday’s 3-0 win when he reported a stiff back that he said was the result of the long flight from Houston on Monday. Not wanting to take any chances, Astros manager AJ Hinch took Correa out of the lineup. Correa returned from the injured list a week ago after missing 26 games with back discomfort.

“I’m not trying to play through discomfort,” Correa said after Tuesday’s game. “I don’t want to make it worse going into the playoffs in a little more than a week. It’s nothing major. Tomorrow, I plan to be in the lineup. If I wake up and I’m fine, I’ll be back out there.”

Hinch didn’t express any concern over Correa’s latest back ailment, partly because the All-Star shortstop wasn’t in any pain. Still, the fact Correa battled a back injury for the second half of last season and is having issues a week before the playoffs start could be a problem going forward.

“Any time this happens the last week of the season, we’re going to err on the side of caution and take him out of the lineup,” Hinch said. “He probably could have gone. It’s one of those things where it’s a gray area, and with this thing I’m not going to mess around with it. I’ll take it out of his hands. I’m glad he’s not in pain. I’m sure he wants to play. It’s the last week of the season and I’m going to sit him.”

Hinch said he would be concerned if the issue dragged into the weekend. Correa had looked free and easy since returning from the injured list, and Hinch had given him two days off last week to help ease him back into the lineup considering he had only one Minor League rehab game.

“He’s been great, and he is good,” Hinch said. “It sounds a lot worse than what it seems like it is. We’re going to make a proactive move. There’s going to be some sense of curiosity as to what it is. It is very important for us to be smart this week.”

Correa, who turned 25 on Sunday, is hitting .279 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs in 75 games this year. He missed 50 games from May 27-July 21 after he broke a rib while getting a massage at his home.