The Astros remain optimistic that right-hander Gerrit Cole will avoid a stint on the injured list, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com writes. Cole, who has been dealing with hamstring discomfort this week, played catch Friday and will do so again this weekend, manager A.J. Hinch said. Hinch added that the Astros are hopeful the AL Cy Young contender will return near the end of their upcoming series against Detroit, which runs from Monday to Thursday. Meanwhile, righty Brad Peacock could come off the IL as early as Sunday. Peacock had been in the Astros’ rotation before going down with shoulder discomfort June 28, but he’ll revert to his previous role as a reliever when he makes it back to the majors.
Here’s more from around the AL…
- Yankees first baseman Luke Voit expects to start a Triple-A rehab assignment Thursday, per Jack Curry of the YES Network. Voit has been dealing with core issues since late June, which have forced him to the injured list multiple times and could’ve ended his season. Now, though, Voit “feels he’s in the clear,” Curry writes. He hasn’t suited up for the Yankees in almost three weeks, and they’ve turned to DJ LeMahieu and Mike Ford at first in the absences of Voit and fellow injured Bomber Edwin Encarnacion.
- Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is hoping to return from the IL at the end of the month, Scott Mitchell of TSN reports. Gurriel went down Aug. 8 with a strained left quadriceps, cutting off a breakout campaign for the 25-year-old. With a .279/.331/.548 line and 19 home runs in 321 plate appearances, Gurriel has been one of several young Toronto hitters who look as if they’ll be long-term building blocks for the club.
- Twins left-hander Ian Krol has received a 50-game suspension after his second positive test for a drug of abuse, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group tweets. Krol last appeared in the majors a year ago with the Angels, though he only threw two innings for the club. He previously received far more MLB work with the Nationals, Tigers and Braves from 2013-17. The 28-year-old has spent this season in Triple-A ball, where he has struggled to a 5.67 ERA with 11.3 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 46 innings between the top affiliates of the Twins and Reds.
- The Tigers will reinstate righty Jordan Zimmermann from the IL on Saturday, the team announced. Zimmermann will end up missing two weeks with a right cervical spasm. The 33-year-old has missed time with injuries in each season since the Tigers awarded him an five-year, $110MM contract entering 2016. To make matters worse, the former Washington standout hasn’t been productive when healthy since he joined Detroit.
- The Rays have turned infield prospect Jermaine Palacios into a two-way player – the fourth in their system – according to John Vittas, broadcaster for the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs. The 23-year-old Palacios fired 95 to 96 mph fastballs during his debut on the mound, Vittas adds. Palacios joined the Rays in their Jake Odorizzi trade with Minnesota prior to last season. While Palacios boasted a decently regarded bat at the time of the deal, he hasn’t hit much since then, which likely played a role in the Rays’ decision to try him as a pitcher.