The Astros announced today that infielder Yulieski Gurriel has been promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi and will join that affiliate tomorrow. Since signing a five-year, $47.5MM contract with Houston last month, Gurriel has played six games between Houston’s Gulf Coast League and Class-A Advanced affiliates, going 8-for-21 with a homer, three doubles and five strikeouts. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart tweets that Double-A is expected to be Gurriel’s final stop before arriving in the Major Leagues. It’s not entirely clear what type of alignment the Astros will utilize to work the 32-year-old Cuban star into the lineup, but Alex Bregman’s struggles upon his first taste of the Majors may have made it easier for manager A.J. Hinch to work Gurriel into the mix.
A bit more from the American League…
- Red Sox manager John Farrell suggested to reporters this weekend that surgery could very well be required to fix the severe ankle sprain that is currently plaguing Blake Swihart (links to Twitter via Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald and Tim Britton of the Providence Journal). Swihart, who is waiting for a second opinion on the injury, hasn’t played since June 4, and surgery would seemingly jeopardize his chances of returning at all in 2016. Boston had been playing the 24-year-old top prospect in left field after concerns about his glovework behind the plate surfaced.
- Mastrodonato writes today that outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who made his big league debut last week, could begin to find himself in the Red Sox’ lineup with greater frequency. The Sox planned to ease Benintendi into the Majors by limiting his at-bats against left-handed pitching, but Farrell explained that the “easing-in period has happened relatively quick,” referencing Benintendi’s hot start to his big league career. Extra playing time for Benintendi would likely come at the expense of Bryce Brentz, with whom he’d been slated to platoon early in his career.
- MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tackles a host of roster-related questions in his latest Royals Inbox, noting right off the bat that there’s “not a chance” the Royals will decline Alcides Escobar’s $6.5MM option in spite of his .279 OBP and recent rumors suggesting that the team may look to go with prospect Raul Mondesi Jr. at short in the near future. He also expects the Royals to try to work out a new two-year contract with Edinson Volquez, whom they like very much and who loves both the city of Kansas City and the Royals organization, according to Flanagan.
- Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto spoke to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune about his weekend acquisitions of relievers Arquimedes Caminero and Pat Venditte, praising Caminero for rebounding from a poor start to the 2016 and pitching well since June 1. (Indeed, Caminero has a 2.28 ERA with 6.9 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 47.8 percent ground-ball rate in 23 2/3 innings since early June.) “He also provides another controllable and experienced arm for our pen,” said Dipoto. “Additionally, he’s among the hardest throwers in the game.” Speaking about Venditte, he said the Mariners were drawn to the ambidextrous hurler’s proficiency versus left-handed hitters as well as the fact that he has minor league options remaining.