Astros ink former first-rounder Brad Snyder to minors deal

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From Astros social media director Alyson Footer comes word that Houston has signed 29-year-old outfielder Brad Snyder to a minor league contract. He’ll also be invited to spring training.

Snyder, the No. 18 overall pick in the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft, has made only 37 career plate appearances in the major leagues — all with the Cubs — and has batted just .167/.189/.194 with one extra-base hit over that limited sample size.

Snyder hit .290 with an .801 OPS and 11 home runs in 102 games this past season at Triple-A Iowa.

The Astros have also handed minor league deals and spring training invites to former Cardinals outfielder Nick Stavinoha and former Indians outfielder Travis Buck. They’ll pray for production out of one of the three.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.