Astros play it safe with Correa after plunking

Astros play it safe with Correa after plunking

HOUSTON -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game Tuesday because of a right hand contusion suffered in Saturday's win in Oakland. Correa said he can barely feel any pain in the hand, but when he grips the bat and puts pressure on it, it's really sore.

"I woke up today feeling a lot better and hopefully I can be back there in one or two days, but I feel a lot better," Correa said. "I want to be able to be out there and play every single day, so it's obviously tough."

Correa originally said he was "99 percent" sure he would be able to play Monday after he was struck on the hand Saturday by a 96-mph fastball thrown by A's reliever Frankie Montas. He said he would try to swing a bat Wednesday and test the hand.

"It's just early in the season and I don't want to be playing out there hurt," he said. "There's still a lot of games to play and I want to be able to play most of the games."

Correa leaves after HBP on hand

With Correa hurt, the Astros have been using Alex Bregman at shortstop. Bregman played shortstop in college and through the Minors before moving to third last year when he was approaching the big leagues because Correa was at short.

"One of the benefits we have is a good bench," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "When things like this pop up for a couple of days, we're very comfortable with the Plan B, so to speak. Bregman played a little bit of shortstop, not as much in the big leagues as he has [third base]. Even our third line of defense is Marwin Gonzalez. It's a good luxury to have some different options when guys go down."

When asked if the Astros considered putting Correa on the disabled list, which is now only 10 games, Hinch said no. Without Correa, the Astros on Tuesday had only two healthy bench position players: designated hitter/catcher Evan Gattis and outfielder Jake Marisnick.

Correa is hitting .234 this season, and he doesn't have an extra-base hit since his Opening Day home run.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.