While the season ended on as high of a note as it can for a team that loses in the postseason, the Minnesota Twins went through their fair share of ups and downs in 2023.
Specifically, the offensive struggles that plagued most of the summer were a source of frustration for fans. This went double for the team's $200 million man, Carlos Correa, who slumped hard during the first half of the season and was playing so badly at one point that he was booed at Target Field.
He started to bounce back toward the end of the season, and his uplifting performance in the postseason -- specifically in Game 2 of the ALDS -- went a long way in smoothing things over. Knowing that he was ailing also helped everyone calm down a bit, a variable that wasn't always clear to fans who were growing tired of seeing him underperform.
Correa's season with the Twins began with some injury controversey thanks to his whole medical red flag saga during free agency, and that thread followed him all year. Even now, two months after the season ended, fans are being reminded just how much he battled through pain to try and have an impact for Minnesota.
Rocco Baldelli reveals just how hurt Carlos Correa was last season
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli is in Nashville for the Winter Meetings and stopped by MLB Now where the topic of Correa's injury history came up. Not only did Rocco address what happened this season, he revealed just how hurt he was.
“He played through it, but there were days he could barely walk,” Baldelli said. “He’d walk into the clubhouse and I’d be like ‘oh man, this doesn’t look so good’, but then he’s out there and he’s playing. We knew that there were things he was not going to be capable of, but it’s funny because when you get to the playoffs and you look up and see what the guy does, he’s pretty amazing.”
Late in the season, we started to learn just how much his plantar fasciitis was holding Correa back, something that Rocco noted when Brian Kenny pressed him on some of the offensive struggles he encountered.
“He was [really hurt], and I think the production is due to that,” Baldelli said.
It was one of his less impressive seasons at the plate, as the only career-high he ended up setting was in double plays grounded into. That foot issue certainly played an issue in his ability to get to first base, but despite the pain he still played in 135 games for the Twins.
That ended up being one fewer game than he appeared in during the 2022 season, one in which he also battled through injuries. Correa has still added immense value to the clubhouse as a veteran leader, and a full season of him healthy and playing up to the level he's shown in the past could legitimately put him in the MVP conversation.
He needs to get healthy first, but it sounds like we haven't yet truly seen what Correa can do for Minnesota.