Matt Holliday activated from disabled list

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As expected, the Cardinals have activated outfielder Matt Holliday from the 15-day disabled list. He’ll be in the starting lineup this afternoon against the Braves, batting third and playing left field.

Holliday has been sidelined since July 11 due to a strained right hamstring. He was able to make it back in the minimum 15 days and ended up missing 10 games.

Holliday has been a bit of a disappointment this season, batting .268/.351/.448 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI through 83 games. He’s hitting ground balls and infield fly balls at a career-high clip, which has made him a much easier out than normal. The 33-year-old entered this season with a .313/.387/.536 career batting line.

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.