Padres expected to call up top prospect Casey Kelly to start Monday

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Here’s an interesting note as we wait for the mega-deal between the Red Sox and Dodgers to become official.

According to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Padres are expected to call up prospect right-hander Casey Kelly to make his major league debut Monday against the Braves at PETCO Park. Of course, Kelly was acquired along with Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes and Eric Patterson in December of 2010 in the deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox.

Kelly hasn’t pitched much this season due to a right elbow strain, but he has a 3.78 ERA and 18/3 K/BB ratio in 16 2/3 innings over three starts since returning to action with Double-A San Antonio. The 22-year-old owns a 3.78 ERA over his first 73 pro starts and has averaged 7.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. If added to the rotation, he will be the 15th pitcher to start a game for the Padres this season.

Astros acquire Aledmys Díaz from Blue Jays

Aledmys Diaz
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The Astros have acquired shortstop Aledmys Díaz from the Blue Jays in exchange for minor league right-hander Trent Thornton, the teams announced Saturday.

Díaz, 28, was originally acquired by the Blue Jays last winter in a swap for minor leaguer J.B. Woodman. He spent the entirety of his 2018 campaign in Toronto, where he slashed .263/.303/.453 with a .756 OPS and career-best 18 home runs through 452 plate appearances. While Díaz spent the bulk of his year filling in for an injured Troy Tulowitzki at short, he has experience at second and third base and may prove useful to the Astros as an extra outfield option, too.

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Díaz will serve as protection if the Astros lose shortstop/utility player Marwin González to free agency this winter. González did not receive a qualifying offer from the club this month and has reportedly drawn interest from 29 of 30 clubs in the league.

Thornton, 25, was selected by the Astros during the fifth round of the 2015 draft. The right-hander was promoted to Triple-A Fresno in 2017 and has been up-and-down since then, though 2018 saw some modest improvements across the board as he turned in a 9-8 record through 22 starts with a 4.42 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 124 1/3 innings. He was one of several minor league players the Astros would have needed to protect in advance of the Rule 5 Draft on Tuesday.