Indians minor leaguer Dillon Howard suspended 50 games

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Indians minor leaguer Dillon Howard, who was Cleveland’s second-round pick in 2011, has been suspended 50 games for violating the drug policy.

Howard signed for significantly over the slot recommended bonus at $1.85 million and then had a miserable professional debut last season in rookie-ball, going 1-7 with a 7.90 ERA in 41 innings. He’s yet to pitch this season.

Heading into last season Howard rated as the Indians’ second-best prospect according to Baseball America, but he fell at the way to 25th on BA‘s list this year.

Report: Jose Altuve underwent right knee surgery on Friday

Jose Altuve
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Astros’ star second baseman José Altuve underwent surgery on his right knee, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports. Neither the specifics of the surgery nor a concrete timetable for the infielder’s recovery have been officially confirmed by the club yet.

Altuve, 28, suffered the injury in July after he jammed his knee on a close play at third base. Even after he completed an initial 3.5-week stint on the 10-day disabled list, chronic knee pain continued to dog him in the months that followed. As manager A.J. Hinch told reporters on Thursday, he would have held the second baseman out of the lineup under any other circumstances, but instead chose to commend Altuve for showing up and pushing through the pain as the Astros tried for a repeat championship title this postseason.

Per McTaggart, the Astros expect Altuve to make a full recovery by spring. The perennial All-Star infielder finished his 2018 run with a .316/.386/.451 batting line, 13 home runs, and an .837 OPS through 599 plate appearances. He fared slightly worse during Houston’s ALDS and ALCS campaigns, slashing .265/.324/.412 with three extra-base hits over 37 PA. The Astros were eliminated by the Red Sox during Thursday’s 4-1 loss in ALCS Game 5.