Yordan Alvarez
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Astros promote Yordan Alvarez

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The Astros have called up no. 3 prospect Yordan Alvarez in advance of Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles, per an official team announcement. The versatile infielder/outfielder is slated to fill in at DH for his debut and will bat fifth.

The addition of 21-year-old Alvarez may be just the thing to reinvigorate an injury-plagued lineup, especially as Houston is currently missing the talents of top hitters like José Altuve (hamstring strain), George Springer (hamstring strain), and Carlos Correa (rib fracture), with no plans for immediate reinstatement. So far this season, the highly-touted prospect has done his best to solidify a no. 3 ranking in the Astros’ system (and no. 23 ranking overall) with an electric .343/.443/.742 batting line, 23 home runs, and a 1.184 OPS over 253 plate appearances in Triple-A.

While Alvarez’s skillset lies primarily in his ability to hit for both average and power, his apparent lack of defensive prowess likely won’t be an issue for the Astros. Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports that the rookie is expected to see many of his starts at DH, with limited appearances in left field as necessary.

In corresponding moves, the club transferred Lance McCullers (Tommy John surgery) from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL and optioned lefty reliever Reymin Guduan to clear a roster spot for Alvarez. It was a short stay in the majors for Guduan, who stumbled to an unsightly 14.54 ERA, 8.3 BB/9, and 10.4 SO/9 in six outings this year.

Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo arrested in drug, money laundering investigation

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Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.

That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.

Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.

Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.