Carlos Correa out fourth straight game with hamstring injury

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Astros shortstop Carlos Correa hasn’t appeared in a game since Tuesday night due to discomfort in his left hamstring. And he’s apparently still hobbled.

Correa is out of the Astros’ starting lineup for Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Twins due to what’s now being described as a hamstring strain, per Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle.

This is probably a case of the ‘Stros playing it safe with a young star. They do have a four-game lead in the American League West standings and Correa has been pushed hard over the last three months.

Marwin Gonzalez is starting at shortstop and batting second Sunday versus Twins right-hander Ervin Santana.

Look for the 20-year-old Correa to return to action early this week. He’s slashing .278/.347/.510 with 15 home runs, 43 RBI, and 11 stolen bases through his first 68 major league games.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).