Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow hinted that Double-A shortstop/third baseman Alex Bregman could be on his way to Triple-A Fresno during the upcoming week, tweets Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez is also a candidate to receive a promotion to Fresno, per McTaggart. Bregman, the more notable of the two, has hit a phenomenal .295/.403/.555 with 14 home runs and 35 walks against 26 strikeouts in 269 plate appearances. The No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, Bregman could soon be a factor at third for the surging Astros – though Luis Valbuena’s production has risen substantially since a poor April. Hernandez, 23, has seen Double-A action since 2014 and is currently posting his best-ever numbers at that level, batting .302/.383/.434 with six homers and 29 steals across 306 trips to the plate with Corpus Christi.
News on a couple of Houston’s division rivals:
- Athletics right-hander Henderson Alvarez had a platelet-rich plasma injection for his throwing shoulder and will be shut down for three more weeks, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. He had the injection a week ago after an MRI showed no structural damage in his shoulder, per Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area (Twitter link). Alvarez missed most of 2015 because of shoulder troubles and the A’s signed the ex-Marlin in the offseason to a one-year, $4.25MM deal with the hope that he’d reestablish himself in their uniform, but it hasn’t been in the cards yet.
- After exiting in warmups Thursday with “general soreness,” Mariners righty Adrian Sampson will undergo season-ending surgery on his elbow, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. “This isn’t as bad (as Tommy John), but surgery is required,” Sampson, who underwent Tommy John surgery as a high schooler in 2009, told Dutton. “They’re saying it’s a Grade III, which is enough that they have to repair it with surgery. They’re saying I should be good by spring training.” The Mariners acquired Sampson from the Pirates last year for J.A. Happ, and he threw 80 1/3 innings of 3.25 ERA ball – with a 6.83 K/9 and 1.34 BB/9 – for Triple-A Tacoma this season. Sampson, 24, made his major league debut June 18 against the Red Sox, who teed off on him for four earned runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 frames.
- Injured lefty Wade Miley, whom Sampson replaced in the Mariners’ rotation, is close to returning from a sore shoulder, writes Greg Johns of MLB.com. “Pain free. I’m ready to rock and roll,” Miley said Friday after a 55-pitch rehab start for Class-A Everett. The Mariners will hope for better results from Miley when he comes back, as the 29-year-old ran up a 5.28 ERA – far above his career mark of 4.06 – in 76 2/3 innings prior to the injury.