Two Major League Baseball All-Stars are expected to play for the Fresno Grizzlies during their final homestand of the season, which begins Thursday.
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa – one of the most talented players ever to play for the Grizzlies – will suit up for Fresno’s Triple-A franchise as part of an injury rehabilitation assignment and possibly play in all four of this year’s final regular-season games at Chukchansi Park.
In addition, American League All-Star and Astros pitcher Lance McCullers is scheduled to start for the Grizzlies on Friday as he begins a rehab assignment.
The Grizzlies (71-59) remain in the Pacific Coast League playoff hunt but are two games back of the first-place Reno Aces in the Pacific Northern Division.
Correa was electrifying in his brief stint with the Grizzlies during his meteoric rise to the majors in 2015.
In his first game here, he homered off former Cy Young winner Barry Zito.
And Correa drove in the winning run during his final Triple-A at-bat before his promotion to Houston.
Correa has been on the disabled list since July 19 after tearing a ligament in his left thumb.
He was batting .320 with 20 homers and 67 RBIs in 84 games for the Astros this season.
Houston Astros star Carlos Correa has been on the disabled list since July 19 after tearing a ligament in his left thumb.
McCullers skipped Triple-A on his way up to the majors. But he did make a rehab start for the Grizzlies on the road last year and threw five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.
McCullers has 353 strikeouts in 312 1/3 innings over three seasons with the Astros. Going into the All-Star break, McCullers was 7-2 with a 3.05 ERA and had 106 strikeouts in 91 1/3 innings. He tried to pitch through a back injury following the All-Star break before landing on the disabled list July 31.
The presence of Correa and McCullers in Fresno lineup could give the Grizzlies a boost down the stretch.
71-59 The Fresno Grizzlies’ record with 12 games remaining, including just four games left at Chukchansi Park.
But with the Grizzlies dropping three of four to the Aces at the start of this week, Fresno will need outside help, too, to overtake Reno and make the playoffs.
Fresno’s final three opponents (Tacoma Rainiers, El Paso Chihuahuas and Salt Lake Bees) have a combined record of 193-197.
Reno’s final two opponents (Las Vegas 51s and twice against the Albuquerque Isotopes) have a combined record of 114-145.
Carlos Correa returns to Fresno
FRESNO GRIZZLIES VS. TACOMA RAINIERS
- First pitch: 7:05 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5:05 p.m. Sunday at Chukchansi Park
- Records: Grizzlies (71-59), Rainiers (64-66)
- Major League rehab stints: All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa and All-Star pitcher Lance McCullers of the Houston Astros both will play for the Fresno Grizzlies this series, which is the final homestand of the regular season.
- Promotions: The Grizzlies will hold “Oreo Taco Night” on Thursday with the Grizzlies wearing a special “Oreo” uniform. Friday will be Christian Fellowship Night, which will include a live concert by recording artist David Dunn after the game. There also will be a fireworks show Friday.
- Tickets sale: The Grizzlies have reduced certain tickets to Thursday’s game to just $4, $3 on Friday, $2 on Saturday and $1 on Sunday (while supplies last).