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Astros can absorb Correa’s injury, but who will play shortstop?

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Could Bregman move back to his natural position?

Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Losing a starting shortstop isn’t easy for any major league baseball team. It is especially hard for the Houston Astros, who will be without the services of All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa. Correa is out for six-to-eight weeks after he was placed on the DL Tuesday.

It will be OK for Houston. Well, it’s not really OK.

But if it were to happen, at least it happened right now.

Should we worry?

The Houston Astros may not be able to push for franchise records in offensive categories and franchise records for wins without Correa. But the AL West is all but wrapped up even with Correa gone. The Astros have a realistic magic number already, 59. 59 wins and losses by other teams and the team can secure the No.1 overall seed in the American League Playoffs.

The Astros lead the AL West by 15 12 games and FanGraphs currently projects Houston to have a 100% chance of making the playoffs and winning the division.

The Astros have already put in the work to win the division, now they need to focus on getting as healthy as they can entering he playoffs.

It’s in the best interest of the Astros and Correa’s career for him to have the surgery to repair his torn ligament.

Who will start at shortstop?

But the question now is: Who will get the lion’s share of the start at shortstop?

The Astros don’t have prospects waiting in the wings at shortstop. That fact is exemplified by 31-year-old Reid Brignac and traditional corner infielder Tyler White getting starts at shortstop for the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.

Instead, manager A.J. Hinch will likely pick between super utility player Marwin Gonzalez and third baseman Alex Bregman.

Marwin Gonzalez

Marwin is the easiest answer. Gonzalez has been having a career year at the plate. He currently has an 18.6 offensive fWAR. His ISO has spiked to .269 from his career average of .151 and his wRC+ (161) is up nearly 100 points better than from last year (87).

Hinch has already used Marwin in eight games, including six starts, at shortstop. His fielding percentage is 1.000 at shortstop in 2017. But his lowest UZR of any fielding position is at shortstop (-6.7) behind third base (-2.8) in 2017.

Alex Bregman

A.J. Hinch is on record saying that the Astros haven't played Bregman at shortstop when Correa has a day off because he wants Bregman to focus on third base solely.

That said, Bregman’s more natural position is at shortstop. He was the 2013 National Shortstop of the Year (Brooks Wallace Award), and All-SEC and All-SEC Defensive Team during his time at LSU at shortstop.

Conclusion

Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Bregman will both start in all, if not most, of the games with Carlos Correa out. My only question is: will the Astros be better off to put more fleet- footed Bregman at shortstop?

But expect Gonzalez at shortstop most part with Correa out.

Poll

Who should the Astros start at shortstop with Carlos Correa out?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Marwin Gonzalez
    (157 votes)
  • 71%
    Alex Bregman
    (386 votes)
543 votes total Vote Now