Paredes underwent an MRI on Friday to determine the extent of his injury, but the club was already prepared for him to be out at least a week.
“We’re waiting on the MRI, but the chances of him not being hurt in the area of the core aren’t very good, from my experience,” Baker said. “We’re waiting to hear the severity of it. He’ll probably go on the IL.”
Paredes was making his third appearance of the season when he walked the first two batters he faced in the eighth and then fell behind the third hitter, grimacing when he threw a pitch wide of the strike zone. That was enough of a sign for Baker and a team trainer to head to the mound and pull him from the game.
“He’s too valuable for us to take a chance for him to injure it more, or staying [active] and it plaguing him all year,” Baker said. “We’ve got to get him well. He was struggling a little bit. Who knows? He might have had this bother him the whole time and didn’t say much about it. It got to the point he couldn’t take it anymore. You don’t know. These young guys want to remain here, they love being here and we ask them to be honest at the same time.”
Paredes, who made his Major League debut last year, has walked six of the 12 hitters he’s faced this season. Last year, Paredes posted a 3.05 ERA in 22 games out of the bullpen, striking out 20 in 20 2/3 innings.
Swiping 50 bags remains goal for Straw
A month after saying his goal was to steal 50 or 60 bases this year, speedy center fielder Myles Straw hasn’t backed off that lofty expectation. Straw stole his first base of the season in Thursday’s 6-2 win over the A’s at Minute Maid Park, in addition to making a great diving catch in the ninth inning and delivering a two-run single in the sixth.
“It’s still early. I got my first one yesterday, which felt good, and I’m going to be going as much as possible,” Straw said. “I think that’s just my goal. I’m going to try to get as many as I can.”
If Straw does swipe 50 bases, he would join elite company. There have been only 12 seasons of at least 50 stolen bases in club history and one since Jose Altuve stole 56 bags in 2014. The club record is 65 stolen bases by Gerald Young in 1988. Straw stole 70 bases in the Minor Leagues in 2018.
Taking over as the everyday starting center fielder for George Springer, Straw is still getting to know those who play around him. He’s nearly collided with second baseman Altuve on a ball hit into shallow center field and with right fielder Kyle Tucker on a ball in the gap.
Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa are aggressive when it comes to chasing down popups, so communication remains key.
“You’ve got to be loud,” Straw said. “Last year was pretty easy with no fans. You could hear people outside the stadium. With the fans this year, you’ve got to be extra loud and take that perspective and know who you’re with out there.”