AROUND THE HORN

Cecil Whig - - INSIDEBASEBALL -

In an at­tempt to boost its sag­ging play­off hopes, Hous­ton pro­moted Cuban leg­end Yulieski Gur­riel, who signed a five-year, $47.5-mil­lion con­tract in July. Gur­riel, a third base­man by trade, played a game in left in a mi­nor league stint to get him ready for the bigs, though he ap­peared as the DH and bat­ted sixth in his Aug. 21 de­but. The 32-yearold sin­gled and walked in his three ap­pear­ances be­fore leav­ing in the eighth with ham­string tight­ness. Even if healthy, it’s unclear where Gur­riel will fit. Reg­u­lar third base­man Luis Val­buena is on the DL with a ham­string is­sue while elite prospect Alex Breg­man, a mid­dle in­fielder by trade, is man­ning third be­cause Hous­ton fea­tures stars Jose Al­tuve and Car­los Cor­rea in its mid­dle in­field. With Evan Gat­tis hit­ting only .240/.302/.460, plac­ing Gur­riel at DH might make the most sense. …

The Astros also have more room in the outfi eld af­ter re­leas­ing Car­los Gomez ear­lier in the month. Gomez caught on with Texas, which has been be­set with ma­jor in­juries in the outfi eld. The lat­est came when Shin-Soo Choo saw his sea­son end af­ter 45 games with a bro­ken fore­arm suf­fered when he was hit by a pitch on Aug. 15. Josh Hamil­ton, who was sup­posed to be the team’s left fielder, won’t play in 2016 due to knee prob­lems. The Rangers will pay Gomez the pro­rated league min­i­mum of $125,000 while the Astros are on the hook for the re­main­ing $9 mil­lion. They plan to play Gomez ev­ery day in left and hope to get some­thing more along the lines of the player who posted back-to-back OPS num­bers of .843 and .833 in 2013 and ’14, rather than the .594 he had with the Astros this sea­son. …

Dansby Swan­son, the top over­all pick in the 2015 draft, made his MLB de­but in At­lanta with the Braves on Aug. 17 against the Twins. Swan­son sin­gled twice in four at-bats and be­came the first over­all No. 1 pick since Darin Erstad (1996) to hit the bigs the year af­ter he was drafted. The Braves’ short­stop for the fore­see­able fu­ture, Swan­son is a na­tive of Ma­ri­etta, Ga., where Sun Trust Park, the Braves’ sta­dium for 2017 and be­yond, is lo­cated. …

The Yan­kees will be with­out 26-year-old start­ing pitcher Nathan Eo­valdi for the rest of this sea­son and all of next. Eo­valdi, who had a ca­reer- worst 4.76 ERA this sea­son, un­der­went suc­cess­ful Tommy John surgery as well as a pro­ce­dure to re­pair the flexor ten­don in his right hand. …

The Car­di­nals tied an MLB record for pinch hit home runs when Jeremy Hazel­baker smashed the team’s 14th pinch-hit bomb of the sea­son on Aug. 21 against the Phillies.

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