Correa injury almost guarantees a big trade for Astros


No matter how you slice it, 209 + 50 does not = 16.5. But that’s exactly where the Astros find themselves in mid-July, just days before Jeff Luhnow’s deadline to secure the best season in franchise history.

Key starters — including Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., Charlie Morton and others — have missed a total of 209 games on the disabled list. Carlos Correa is likely to miss 50 before returning in September to warm up for the playoffs.

Yet, the Astros enter today’s games with a 16.5 game lead with the best record in the American League.

Luhnow and A.J. Hinch have pieced together a deep roster that has allowed Houston to be cautious with its fragile rotation and has one of the best benches in the game today (read: Marlin Gonzalez). But as the team goes deeper into the summer, that fragility may fracture an otherwise strong position.

The Correa injury demonstrates what losing a key part of the cog can do. While Gonzalez and others may fill in admirably, Houston needs to be on full-on status down the stretch.

What does that mean for the next 10 days or so?

Luhnow is now in a position where he must add a strong, key pitcher. Keuchel and Collin McHugh are coming back and, while they will likely be strong down the stretch, there are no guarantees.

An ace to go alongside Keuchel is the recommended prescription and that will be costly, especially at this late date in the trade zone. Yes, Brad Peacock has done nicely (8-1 record), though it’s hard not to do well when your team provides 8.77 runs/game while you’re on the mound as a starter. Yes, the bullpen has done well, but that may wane in the hot summer days after being taxed with a rotation that hasn’t gone deep most of the season.

If you were in doubt about a trade, the Correa injury almost guarantees it. It’s just a matter of whether Luhnow finds the best trade partner fit for a strong reliever or key starter. Note: With Peacock headed back to his original role in the pen, Houston may have already made its best possible acquisition there.

Make no mistake though: It’s too early to start talking magic number, but Houston will still win the division, probably handily. They will lose a little flexibility since the injury forces Marwin into a fixed position, rather than filling in all around the diamond. But that’s about it.

Quick questions:

  • Does the Correa injury give you pause about the stretch drive or the playoffs?
  • How badly is the pressure now for Luhnow to add a TOR starter?
  • Many of you have already chimed in, but should Hinch just move Alex Bregman over to the six-hole and let Colin Moran have his shot at third?
  • As the summer heats up, what are you watching closely regarding the lineup and roster?
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148 comments on “Correa injury almost guarantees a big trade for Astros

  1. I just tuned in late and was delighted to see a 5 zip score in favor of the good guys. And that’s with Springer 0 for 2. Alex keeps sneaking his stats up! He’ll get his OPS to .800. And Yuli has turned into a smart pick up. He might grow into the DH role nicely next year. And Becky, I didn’t see it, but Moran had a triple on his first at bat!

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  2. Moran’s 2.250 OPS is reminiscent of Derek F’s debut this year. Glad that Moran’s struggles last season seem to be gone – for the day

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  3. Now…THAT was the most ridiculous inning I’ve ever seen. If they had let the O’s, win this game, I would personally fly to Baltimore and punch Hinch in the mouth.

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  4. Colin Moran has Grown up.
    Yuli Gurriel is making Luhnow and his scouts look better every day.
    I’d settle for an RBI single every day from Beltran.
    Hoyt’s pitches had nothing on them tonight.
    The Circle of Death change up can have two completely different meanings. That is one reason why I don’t like kiddie names for major league stuff and going on and on about the same thing over and over by the announcers. That stuff comes back around.
    I don’t like the change in putting the batting info at the bottom of the screen by ATT It sucks! And their strike zone thingy is too low. It is showing too many low pitches as strikes. I also don’t like less involvement in the game, during the game, by Julia. They seem to be cutting her air time and Blummer is getting stale. No, you listen to him!
    2016 Astros might not have salvaged that game. But 2016 Astros might not have been so intimidating that a 40 home-run-guy tries to lay down a bunt in the bottom of the ninth trailing by one run. The Astros really have some teams out of their comfort zone.
    We need another good reliever. in that pen, but maybe we already have him and aren’t using him there yet.
    Alex Wood got blasted tonight by the Braves. Gave up 9 runs. It’s about time!
    Our Astros are 64-32 after 96 games. No maybe about it, I’m amazed.
    As the clock struck midnight here in the central time zone, the Yankees closed out Seattle and the Astros lead in the AL West is 17 games.
    Sleep well, Collin McHugh. I hope you pitch great tomorrow night.

    Liked by 1 person

      • We have the starter Luhnow is looking for and his name is Dallas Keuchel. Once he returns it will move either Morton or Peacock to the bullpen and then we have that reliever we want. I am sure a trade is going to happen and, personally, I would prefer to add to the bullpen. It is already a strength, but in the playoffs bullpens are magnified and the team with the best bullpen usually wins the series. I am comfortable with our rotation when everyone is healthy. Of course, I won’t complain if we get both a starter and reliever before the deadline.

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  5. I was looking at the HR by Schoops and Devo threw it right where McCann wanted it. Just good hitting. Hoyt? Well that’s another matter. Fiers was super. Kudos for him and Peacock for keeping pace during Keuchel and McHugh absence.

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  6. Heard it was Guduan that got sent down to make room for McHugh. Why keep Hoyt? Anyway the burning question is what happens with the rotation when Keuchel returns. If we have to move a starter to the BP (I suggested a 6 man rotation) I would vote that Morton goes down. Any thoughts there Chipalatta fans?

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    • It is a good question Zanuda. Peacock has excelled in both the rotation and the bullpen so I am sure they feel better moving him back there. On the other hand Morton pitches a lot better early in his starts than later so you would think he would be prime candidate for that 2 or 3 inning relief spot.
      I would move Morton to the pen….I think they will move Peacock

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    • The decision to move Guduan down was made before the game last night, even though it was not announced and made official until after the game.
      The Astros are going to do this swapping around of pitchers as it arrives, with this coming week’s results feeding into the plan.
      They have to see how McHugh pitches and how he feels afterwards.
      They have to see how Keuchel feels after his rehab tonight.
      They need to see how Musgrove pitches in relief.
      They need to see how Morton and Peacock fare against Philly this week and make a decision there, if Keuchel is ready.
      They have to see how Hoyt and Martes pitch this coming week.
      We need to see how Harris does this week in rehabbing.
      Almost everything is leading up to the pitching decisions all being made next weekend and the following days at the deadline.

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  7. Concerning do we need a starter or reliever for the playoffs? Here is some useless information.

    In World Series history, Lolich, Gibson, Burdette, etc won 3 games pitching 27 innings. Randy Johnson won 3 pitching 17 innings. In 2016, Kluber pitched 16 innings, Lester only 14.2. The game is completely changed. You need a bunch of good arms. Not one great one.

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  8. In the excitement of the Astros, I forgot that the manager of the Tri-City Valley Cats is Morgan Ensberg and one of their coaches is Sig Mejdal, who was in the front office for years.
    High draft pick Corbin Martin, from TAMU, was just promoted to Tri-City from the GCL where he made two appearances and nobody got a hit off of him.
    It will be interesting to see who catches Keuchel tonight for Tri-City.
    Starting opposite of Keuchel for the Lowell Spinners tonight will be the Red Sox #1 pick in the 2017 draft, Tanner Houck. Keuchel’s rehab start was the top item on Lowell’s website.

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  9. Tough watching that finish last, but I can’t be down on Hinch. He’s trying to give Hoyt every chance to succeed at this level. They must think he can get it done. And Hoyt did not want to use Devenski and Giles. Those guys were probably already thinking about eating soft shelled crabs somewhere.

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