Correa participates in hitting, running drills

Correa participates in hitting, running drills

ST. PETERSBURG -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa hit and ran Saturday at Tropicana Field in his continued recovery after sustaining a sprained left ankle Thursday.

Correa wasn't in the lineup for the second consecutive day with the Astros continuing their three-game series against the Rays. However, he appeared to take steps forward, with Marwin Gonzalez starting in his place again and batting second. In addition to hitting in an off-field cage and running at a self-described 60 percent on the field, Correa took ground balls at shortstop during batting practice.

"I felt good," Correa said. "I didn't feel great, but it felt good. Hopefully, I will be back there soon.

"Just went through a routine today. Felt pretty good. I think I'll be back there maybe tomorrow or the series against St. Louis [starting Tuesday]."

Before the game, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Correa had to undergo more tests before determining whether the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year would be able to pinch-hit. Correa, who's batting .256 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs this season, was listed as "available."

When asked about Correa's availability for the series finale Sunday afternoon, Hinch declined to rule the player out.

"I think we've got to answer that question after every new activity that he does," Hinch said. "If he can take ground balls today, if he can swing off a live arm, that will be progress. We've got a quick turnaround with the day game, so we'll see. I'm not really making any determination until the last minute."

Correa said he recognizes a difference in his condition.

"I'd been taking treatment for a long time yesterday, so it felt way better today when I woke up," he said. "I'll get some more treatment now, and hopefully, I'll be ready to go."

Andrew Astleford is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.