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Carlos Correa will have surgery for a torn thumb ligament, miss 6 to 8 weeks

How does that effect Houston’s playoff chances?

Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Shortstop Carlos Correa will have surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and is expected to be out as long as six to eight weeks, the Houston Astros announced Tuesday. That’s the same procedure Mike Trout went through, and he returned to Anaheim’s roster in just over seven weeks.

However, as Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reports, Correa is expected to be available again close to eight full weeks after the surgery, which means the Astros will be without their starting shortstop until the first few weeks of September at the earliest.

But what does that mean for Houston as it looks ahead to the postseason and reassess its strategy for the trade deadline?

Well, basically nothing, really.

Houston is currently leading the AL West by a full 15.5 games over Seattle, and it could widen that lead by beating the Mariners tonight and tomorrow at home. Even if that lead shrinks slightly over the next eight weeks, the Astros would still be in marvelous shape heading into the playoffs and would have Correa back at least close to full strength by the time the postseason actually kicks off.

While they’ll certainly miss Correa’s bat (he’s hitting a nice .320/.400/.566 with a .966 OPS and a 165 OPS+) and solid defense (a .978 fielding percentage with only seven errors on the season), his replacement is the versatile Marwin Gonzalez, whose offense is nothing to scoff at either.

Gonzalez has played every position besides pitcher and catcher for the Astros and is primarily a shortstop, so he will serve as a more-than-good-enough replacement during Correa’s absence. He also has a line of .311/.393/.580 with a .973 OPS and an OPS+ of 166, so that’s nothing to scoff at either.

Houston also announced it will be calling up Colin Moran from AAA to take Correa’s roster spot, so one silver lining is that the 24-year old will hopefully take advantage of these reps in the big leagues (he’s played nine games to date in the majors) over the next few months.

The more important silver lining, though, is that Correa’s injury won’t affect the Astros’ plans for the season in any real way, so Houston fans can rest easy knowing that no drastic measures need to be taken to secure a spot on the playoffs.