Correa, McCullers among Astros honored

Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America reveals 2021 awards

October 6th, 2021

HOUSTON – Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and starter Lance McCullers Jr. were among those honored by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. Correa was named the team’s Most Valuable Player for 2021, and McCullers was named the team’s Pitcher of the Year.

In addition, the BBWAA selected pitcher Luis Garcia as the team’s Rookie of the Year for 2021, while Alex Bregman took home the Darryl Kile Good Guy of the Year for his outstanding work in the community and his cooperation with the media.

“It’s truly an honor,” Correa said. “You’ve got MVPs here, you’ve got front-runner MVPs here, you’ve got All-Stars all around wherever you look. It’s really special, but it would have not been possible without the teammates around me. The lineup we have makes each one better and I cannot be more grateful I get to play with this group of guys.”

Astros historian Mike Acosta, who joined the club in 1999 as a broadcast intern and was the driving force behind the establishment of the Astros Hall of Fame in 2019, was named the winner of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service to Baseball Award.

Correa, a first-time winner of the team MVP, led all Major League position players in bWAR and hit .278 with 34 doubles, a career-high 26 homers and 92 RBIs. He led all shortstops in defensive runs saved. McCullers, who will start Game 1 of the AL Division Series on Thursday against the White Sox, went 13-5 in 28 starts with a 3.16 ERA, leading the AL in opponents’ batting average, opponents’ OPS and hits per nine innings while ranking second in ERA (3.16).

Garcia went 11-8 with a 3.30 ERA in 30 games (28 starts) in a career-high 155 1/3 innings, allowing 132 hits with 167 strikeouts.

Bregman is the Astros’ finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award, which annually recognizes the MLB player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

Among Bregman’s endeavors through his Bregman Cares charity are helping children with autism and organizing food and water drives for hurricanes in Louisiana and February’s freeze in Houston.

Siri says he’s good to go

The Astros likely won’t set their 26-man roster for the ALDS prior to Thursday morning’s deadline, but the roster composition may have cleared up a bit Tuesday when outfielder Jose Siri proclaimed himself ready to play after working out with the team at Minute Maid Park.

Siri suffered a slight fracture in his right pinkie while sliding into third base on a triple last week, but it didn’t appear to hamper him on the field Tuesday. Siri likely makes the club as the fifth outfielder, but will be used mostly as a switch-hitter because of his speed.

“I can for sure play with that,” Siri said. “An injury like that, it’s not going to stop me. I’m a man and I can play with an injury like that. It’s just a little bit of pain. It’s nothing serious.”

If Siri makes the Astros’ 26-man roster for the ALDS, which seems likely if he’s healthy, that would leave catcher Garrett Stubbs and veteran infielder Marwin Gonzalez for the final position-player slot. Carrying Stubbs as a third catcher would allow the Astros to be more aggressive pinch-hitting for starting catcher Martín Maldonado late in games.

Correa gets signed glove from Greinke

When veteran right-hander Zack Greinke decided in May he didn’t want to wear any of his Rawlings gloves with a gold patch on it -- symbolic of players who have won a Gold Glove -- Correa asked him if he could have one for his trophy case. Greinke initially said no before making a bet with Correa: He would give him one of the gloves if he finished in the top three in the Major Leagues in WAR among position players.

Correa ended the regular season with a 7.2 bWAR, which ranked first among all Major League position players, just ahead to Toronto’s Marcus Semien (7.1), Washington’s Juan Soto (7.0) and Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (6.8).

“I said, ‘Greinke, I need one of those for my house, for my trophy case,’” Correa said. “’I need your Gold Glove signed by you.’ He said no. I said, ‘What do you mean, no?’ He said, ‘If you finish in the top three in WAR, I’ll give it to you. It’s a bet. To be able to finish first and get that Gold Glove from him, signed by him and dedicated to me, that’s special for me.”

And when it comes to Gold Gloves, Correa may be in line to finally win one himself this year. A finalist last year, Correa believes he should win the AL Gold Glove in 2021. His 21 defensive runs saved are the most among all shortstops.

“I really want it this year, man,” he said. “I think I put up the numbers. I think I deserved it. I thought I deserved it last year, also, and I didn’t get it. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I will wait for the votes; I will wait to see the final decision. I did everything I could. I think I put up the numbers.”