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Astros activate Carlos Correa from 60-day injured list

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Adam Wexler of KPRC 2 Houston reports that the Astros have activated shortstop Carlos Correa from the 60-day injured list ahead of Friday night’s series opener against the Cardinals. Utilityman Tony Kemp has been designated for assignment.

Correa, 24, had been out since late May, when he suffered a fractured rib during a massage. Oddly, he wasn’t the only player to suffer a massage-related injury this season. Jeff Kent and his freshly-washed truck say hi.

Prior to going on the injured list, Correa was on a tear, batting .295/.360/.547 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI in 214 plate appearances. Alex Bregman and Myles Straw handled shortstop while Correa was absent.

Kemp, 27, hit a solid .227/.308/.417 with seven home runs and 17 RBI in 186 PA. He spent a fair amount of time at second base, logging 215 defensive innings there, but also spent time in center and left field. Kemp should draw some interest so don’t be surprised if the Astros swing a trade in the coming days.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The players association said Wednesday night it was dismayed by the length of the ban.

“While we understand the concerns raised by the league with respect to a bench-clearing incident during this challenging season, we’re disappointed by the decision,” the union said. “It was an unfair result for Joe Kelly given the cases presented.”

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty that was first reported by Barstool Sports.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.