Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Astros are dealing with a bit of a slump right now, going 9-10 since the All-Star break. Part of the struggles for the Astros has been the lingering injuries to key parts of their lineup, including starting pitcher Lance McCullers, shortstop Carlos Correa and center fielder George Springer.
McCullers injury raises the most question marks for a return right now and Manager AJ Hinch talked with Sean Pendergast and Ted Johnson of the Triple Threat on Thursday on SportsRadio 610 saying that the number two starter in the rotation is seeing some back specialists about his injured back.
“His back has bothered him for a while now,” Hinch told Sean and Ted about McCullers injury. “He tried to pitch through it and have some rough outings, so we’ve got him seeing some specialists. We don’t think he’s going to miss too much time into September and into October.
While he still called McCullers “day-to-day” on what he can do, Hinch was much more enthusiastic about the progress and returns of Springer and Correa than he was for McCullers.
“Springer is doing well. He ran (Wednesday). He hit (Wednesday). He sounds like he recovered pretty well (Thursday). He’ll do it again and then a couple days off. We’ll se what the road trip brings and see if he can get back in there,” Hinch said of Springer’s quad injury that has him out right now.
Correa tore ligaments in his thumb in mid-July swinging at a pitch in Seattle. He was expected to miss 6-8 weeks for the Astros.
“It’s nice to be in your early 20s and recovering from an injury as opposed to in your 40s and recovering from an injury. He’ bouncing back pretty fast,” Hinch told the Triple Threat. “The doctors are very pleased with where he’s at. Which makes us optimistic that he’ll be back sooner rather than later. Not anytime soon, he’s still about a month away but at least it’s not lingering where we’re not concerned about it.”
Despite the injuries, the Astros are 15 games up in the division and have a solid lead in the American League for home field advantage in the Post Season.
“Their timelines are lining up to where they’ll still be able to participate in the regular season and hopefully help us finish this off,” Hinch finished off about all three’s projections on coming back.
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