Don’t Worry About Carlos Correa

Photo: MLB.com

Entering Thursday, Carlos Correa was off to one of the worst offensive starts in his career, carrying a .189 BA, .643 OPS and a paltry 78 OPS+. Fans at Target Field were booing him and local pundits were starting to question his $36 million salary. Correa welcomed the criticism earlier this week, and called the booing warranted. That he’d boo himself, too.

Carlos Correa ends cold streak?

Then, the struggling former world series champion and 2015 rookie of the year stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the 7th inning with two outs, the game tied and runners on both corners. He was 0-3 on the day, entering that deciding plate appearance. Then, this happened.

Does his game-winning hit (the Twins went on to win 5-3) mean Carlos Correa will turn his season around immediately and go on a heater? Maybe.. but maybe not. What I am sure of, and what this afternoon’s clutch double reiterated, is that we have nothing to worry about, when it comes to our highly compensated 28-year-old shortstop.

Don’t worry about Correa

It’s true, he hasn’t had a good start to the season but we’re talking about one of the most proven veteran producers in the league, both offensively and defensively. Every baseball player has a bad month and Correa has now shown in two straight seasons that he might struggle with the cold Minnesota spring season.

Last year, for example, Correa batted .243 (.633 OPS) in March and April, before turning the page to May, where he hit .318 (.884 OPS) and then going off in June (.342 BA, 1.012 OPS). He then struggled in the dog days of July, before turning up again for the stretch run in late August into September.

Correa ’22GGSPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBBROEBAbiptOPS+sOPS+
April/March19198174918301800724.243.309.324.63324500000.3475489
May16157366821602800613.318.384.500.88433210000.373112148
June2120897917273061200919.342.405.6081.01248100100.382141177
July212191808142048001015.175.264.350.61428400111.1614772
August28271209912282129001821.283.392.384.77638310212.33389123
Sept/Oct3131136124164480719011129.355.412.5891.00173310001.421139183
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table **Generated 5/11/2023.

It’s ok to rip on Carlos Correa when he isn’t playing well, just like it’s fair to do the same for any professional athlete being paid ungodly amounts of cash to play a kid’s game. But, let’s remember what C4 brings to the Minnesota Twins.

What the Minnesota Twins need from historically clutch veteran

Yes, he has a gold glove and a rocket arm. He’s competed for multiple MVP awards and he’s widely considered one of the best all around shortstops in baseball. But what might be most valuable of all for this franchise, is Correa’s big game and postseason acumen.

We are talking about one of the best clutch performers in postseason history. I don’t care about his cheating scandal. This dude — who has 18 HR, 59 RBI and a .849 OPS in 79 playoff games (16 series) — was launching huge postseason home runs long before he was listening to trash cans and he will knock in another 50 postseason runs before his career is over.

YearAgeTmLgSeriesOppRsltGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBBWPAcWPA
201520HOUALALWCNYYW1440000000001.000.000.000.000000000-0.07-0.9%
201520HOUALALDSKCRL521202710240005.350.381.7001.08114110000.354.1%
201722HOUALALDSBOSW419173410260024.235.316.647.96311100000.030.3%
201722HOUALALCSNYYW728274930130015.333.357.556.91315000000.251.1%
201722HOUALWSLADW730293810250014.276.300.517.81715000000.010.2%
201823HOUALALDSCLEW313101100130032.100.308.400.708400000-0.15-1.3%
201823HOUALALCSBOSL522192610030037.316.409.368.7787000000.397.6%
201924HOUALALDSTBRW519190310010009.158.158.211.368400000-0.12-1.4%
201924HOUALALCSNYYW625222410251039.182.280.500.78011000000.334.1%
201924HOUALWSWSNL730273620130039.222.300.407.7071110000-0.084.1%
202025HOUALALWCMINW2862300110021.500.6251.0001.6256000000.332.3%
202025HOUALALDSOAKW4181437003110043.500.6111.1431.75416100010.575.6%
202025HOUALALCSTBRL729272710250027.259.310.519.82914200000.396.6%
202126HOUALALDSCHWW417134520040042.385.529.5381.0687100000.353.9%
202126HOUALALCSBOSW626245610110017.250.308.417.72410010010.120.8%
202126HOUALWSATLL625231610040014.261.320.304.6247110000.00-0.8%
6 Yrs (16 Series)7933430137821601859103079.272.344.505.849152830022.7136.2%
2 ALWC312102300110022.300.417.6001.0176000000.271.4%
6 ALDS2510793132750829001325.290.383.602.98556410011.0211.2%
5 ALCS31130119153270617101035.269.331.479.81057210011.4820.1%
3 WS2085797204031200517.253.306.418.7243321000-0.063.5%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table **Generated 5/11/2023.

For the 2023 Twins, this regular season isn’t about Carlos Correa winning an MVP. It’s about staying healthy and taking advantage of a bad AL Central. Get to the playoffs with a healthy pitching staff and a healthy Byron Buxton. From there, let the playoff god carry you to the promise land.

In other words, don’t have nightmares about who Carlos Correa is right now. Have wet dreams about who he will be come October.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan