It’s been a long road back from the disabled list, but Carlos Correa is finally ready to resume his season. The Astros activated Correa from the 10-day DL in advance of Sunday’s series finale and will equip the shortstop with a special protective pad on his thumb when he takes the field.
Correa, 22, initially jammed his left thumb after sliding headfirst into Tyler Flowers‘ shinguard back in early July. Several weeks later, he aggravated the injury on a bad swing and underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament, totaling 47 days on the disabled list as he worked back to full strength.
Prior to the injury, Correa slashed .320/.400/.566 with 20 home runs and a .966 OPS in 375 PA for the Astros, earning his first All-Star distinction and approaching career-high numbers with 4.1 fWAR. He continued to mash in back-to-back rehab assignments with Triple-A Fresno and Double-A Corpus Christi, going 7-for-24 with a double and five RBI leading up to his activation from the disabled list. There’s no guarantee that Correa will return to MVP-caliber production levels when he steps back into the majors, but the hot-hitting shortstop could help give the Astros the edge they need to make a long run in the postseason this fall.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.