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.

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.