Jonathan Villar

Astros fans are speculating about a Carlos Correa callup

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File this under “interesting” and for now cross-file it under “mere speculation, likely baseless and a tad overly-optimisic” but the deep underworld of the Houston Astros Internet Fandom has been speculating about a possible Carlos Correa callup today.

The basis? Well, here’s how that deep underworld is putting it:

Villar made more mental mistakes and bad defensive plays today and Correa left today’s game without sustaining an injury (strange) and Villar was pissed off leaving the clubhouse and didn’t answer reporters questions. Connection? I sure hope so! I guess we must wait and see.

It’s not just one guy — many have been, some asking me what I think — so even if it’s just chatter, let’s talk about it some.

My view is that this is fueled by some serious prospect fantasizing, which Correa understandably inspires, combined with some serious Jonathan Villar fatigue. Villar made some gaffes yesterday, including trying to get an inside-the-park homer when he had a clear triple, getting tossed out at home and he made a throwing error which cost the Astros a run. The Astros weren’t winning that game anyway, but it was discouraging to a fan base which has grown weary with Villar’s baserunning and defensive gaffes this year.

As for Correa’s early exit in his Triple-A game? There are any number of reasons why that could happen. His team was down 4-0 when he was removed. Maybe he’s just getting some rest.

The biggest reason why I am dubious about a Correa callup is that it’s really close to his Super Two cutoff time. It could be June 1, but Super Two is a floating date dependent upon the timing of other callups (i.e. players who rank in the top 22% of all 2-year players in terms of service time become arbitration eligible). Often an educated guess puts the Super Two date around June 1. But even if it does, the Astros would be wise to wait several days after that to call him up thereby ensuring that they get three full years of pre-arb salaries from the kid. It’s also worth noting that the Astros have a four-game lead right now. Obviously every game counts, but things aren’t desperate for them.

Finally, and least importantly, if you’re of the “let’s boost the gate” school of prospect callups, some more advanced notice could be useful for the Houston business and promotions people. The Astros have a four game series against the O’s at home right now, but it’s hard for people to change plans and go to a game at the last minute mid-week. They’re back home following a road trip on June 12, a weekend series. Why not target a callup for then — if they want to call him up — thereby helping the Super Two calculus AND selling some tickets, getting some shirts printed up, etc.?

Of course the best way to find this kind of thing out is to talk to people with the Astros. I don’t usually do this kind of reporting, but I shot an email to a couple of people asking for the record. If I were them I wouldn’t tell me, so don’t hold your breath on me getting a scoop here. The more likely people are reporters who cover the Astros every day, and none of them are reporting this yet. For me that leaves this squarely in that land of fan wishing and hoping.

But wishing and hoping can be a fun way to kill time until game time. Especially when it involves a prospect as cool and exciting as Carlos Correa, who we all want to see sooner rather than later.