It feels like only a matter of time before the Minnesota Twins punch their postseason ticket, but that's easy part. The Twins magic number remains at five after failing to take advantage of a Guardians loss on Monday night.
Losing to the Cincinnati Reds was secondary to the much bigger loss Minnesota suffered during the game. In the bottom of the second inning, Carlos Correa aggravated his plantar fasciitis while fielding a popup in shallow left field. He left the game and was replaced by Kyle Farmer, but it's the long term challenge it creates that has Twins fans nervous.
It's true that Correa hasn't been his superstar self this season, but he's still one of the best players in the Twins lineup. A perfect scenario would see Correa tap into the very best he has to offer when it matters most, and help the Twins end their dreaded October curse.
That's something that got a lot more difficult on Monday night. Correa said he felt a pop in his heel while making the play and didn't have a great update on his outlook for the remainder of the season.
Carlos Correa comments on aggravating plantar fasciitis
After the loss on Monday, Correa spoke to the media and gave a not-so-rosy update on how he's feeling. While it wasn't as grim as initial fears might have suggested, he admitted that it's an injury that is going to linger and impact how he plays down the stretch.
"I keep pushing through this, it’s not going to get any better," Correa said. "I’m not going to get any better. I’m not going to move any better. Maybe some rest and just show up and play meaningful games will probably be best. But at the same time, we haven’t clinched yet."
Based on what Correa said as well as the general feeling in the clubhouse, it sounds like there are some days off in the shortstop's future.
Fans have pointed to Correa's lackluster season at the plate as reason not to panic over potentially losing him for the postseason, which is deeply foolish. He's not lived up to the high standard he's set in the past but assuming the Twins wouldn't be worse off without Correa is misguided.
Correa has a career postseason slash line of .272/.344/.505, which seems like it would be useful for a team trying to get its first single playoff win in almost two decades. There's also the clutch factor Correa brings, which is the same arguement to be made for Byron Buxton being on the postseason roster, where all it takes is one swing to change the course of a game.
Add to that the fact that the Twins already have better bats like Royce Lewis and Edouard Julien in the lineup, having Correa is something only makes the team better. Resting him down the stretch to ensure he makes as big of an impact in the postseason seems wise.