TORONTO -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is expected to return to the lineup at designated hitter for Wednesday's series finale vs. the Blue Jays after going through on-field baseball drills to test his ailing back Tuesday.Correa took ground balls, did some running and took 30 or 40 swings and begged
TORONTO -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is expected to return to the lineup at designated hitter for Wednesday's series finale vs. the Blue Jays after going through on-field baseball drills to test his ailing back Tuesday.
Correa took ground balls, did some running and took 30 or 40 swings and begged for more, Astros manager AJ Hinch said.
"Which is a good sign," he said. "He's itching to get back in playing."
Correa was on the disabled list from June 26-Aug. 9 with a sore back and hasn't performed well since. He's hitting .174 with four extra-base hits in 121 at-bats since being activated from the DL, and he hasn't played in a week to rest his back.
"It's a lot more comfortable," Correa said Tuesday. "It felt good enough for me to go out there and play tomorrow and try to get these last two series for me to get some at-bats before going to the postseason."
Correa said the final five games of the season will be important to set him up to be ready to perform in the playoffs. He will have four days off between Sunday's regular-season finale and Game 1 of the American League Division Series, which should benefit him.
"It's something that never goes away, I feel like," Correa said. "I'm looking forward to helping the team in the postseason and getting my rest in the offseason, and take care of that -- get that right -- to be ready for next year."
Hinch said Correa would likely have at least one day off in the final five games of the season. Hinch wants to see some freedom in Correa's swing, which will be an indicator of how he feels.
• Hinch said the Astros believe pitching coach Brent Strom and bullpen coach Doug White have found an issue in the delivery of veteran reliever Hector Rondon that has led to his recent struggles. Rondon has allowed 13 hits and nine runs in 4 1/3 innings in his last five outings. That raised his ERA from 2.05 to 3.32.
"They think they found a little issue with his delivery that's not allowing him to extend and get pitches where he needs to get them," Hinch said. "When he walked [Eric] Young the other day, that's a very uncharacteristic walk for him. They backed it up to his delivery. If that's the key, everything else will take care of itself."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.