Joe Thatcher designated for assignment by the Astros

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Left-hander Joe Thatcher, who signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Astros this offseason, has been designated for assignment and dropped from the 40-man roster.

Thatcher filled a left-handed specialist role for Houston, appearing in 36 games but logging a total of just 19 innings. He had a decent 3.79 ERA, but wasn’t especially effective versus left-handed hitters. Or at least not good enough to warrant devoting a roster spot to that limited role.

Thatcher has a solid track record that includes a 3.43 ERA in nine seasons as a big leaguer, so he should be able to latch on somewhere else down the stretch.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.