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MLB 2023 | Yandy homers, drives in 4, Soler extends hitting streak to seven games, Vargas optioned

Major League Baseball (MLB) and other Cuban Players News for the 2023 season. A compendium from several sources

Yandy Díaz (Photo: Daniel Shirey/MLB via Getty Images)

Jul 9

Yandy Díaz went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBI as the Rays halted their seven-game losing streak by beating the Braves 10-4 on Sunday.

The 31-year-old delivered his third straight multi-hit effort versus Atlanta, though he didn't have any extra-base hits or run production in the first two games of the series. The home run ends a 34-game span without a long ball for Diaz, though he still provided plenty of value atop the lineup during that stretch with a .301 average and .367 OBP. Díaz was one of the few Rays hitting of late; he batted .348 during the seven-game skid. The homer was his 13th and gave him 43 RBI, which is pretty good for a leadoff man. He closes out the half as the AL leader in OBP at .408.

Jorge Soler one hit on Sunday after notching his 23rd homer on Saturday. Soler went 1-for-4 and two strikeouts in Sunday's 7-3 victory over Philadelphia. On Saturday Soler got the Marlins' offense going early, taking Ranger Suárez yard for a solo homer in the first inning and then knocking in Dane Myers with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Today's performance extended his hit streak to seven contests, a stretch in which Soler is batting .400 with eight runs scored and four RBI.

Yasmani Grandal is losing work to Zavala. Grandal was out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Grandal is on the bench for the second straight day and for the fifth time in seven games, perhaps signaling that there's been a changing of the guard atop the depth chart at catcher. Seby Zavala picked up another turn behind the dish in place of Grandal, who has turned in an underwhelming .594 OPS since the beginning of June and has also taken a step back defensively in 2023.

Nationals selected Miami 3B Yohandy Morales with the 40th pick of the 2023 MLB Draft.

Born in Miami, but the son of Cuban third baseman Andy Morales, Yohandy has a power-over-hit profile, which might be enough to carry him to the majors someday. He smacked 20 homers in his junior year at Miami, while slashing an eye-popping .408/.475/.713 across 61 games for the Hurricanes. However, with the good comes the bad. He takes huge swings, which can get him in trouble with strikeouts. He chases out of the zone regularly, and will need a strong player development staff to help him change his game. While Morales truly has a power over hit profile, he has improved his swing during his time at Miami, which should bring future success in professional ball.

Yordan Álvarez is closing in on rehab assignment. Astros general manager Dana Brown said Sunday that Álvarez will "for sure" head out on a rehab assignment shortly after the All-Star break. Álvarez doesn't sound like he'll be an option for the Astros' first series of the second half that begins Friday in Anaheim, but if he joins a minor-league affiliate by next weekend and is able to get at least a game or two under his belt, he could be ready to return from the 10-day injured list at some point during the third week of July. The slugger has resided on the IL since June 9 due to the right oblique strain.

Néstor Cortés threw a bullpen session before Sunday’s game against Cubs.

Cortés threw 20 pitches on Sunday and told reporters that he felt “totally pain-free” after the session. He will toss two more sessions, one on Thursday and the other the following Monday. Cortés has been on the injured list since early June with a left rotator cuff sprain. He was transferred to the 60-day injured list and cannot return until the first week of August.

Adolis García was ejected Saturday but was back in Texas lineup on Sunday. García was ejected from Saturday's game after striking out in the eighth inning. He finished the game 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. That explains why Robbie Grossman replaced García late in the game, for those wondering. García's strikeout was of the swinging variety, so he may have been upset at an earlier called strike. On Sunday he was back in the lineup in a 7-2 loss to the Nationals. García went 1-for-4 with 2 RBI. García is leading the Majors in RBI with 75 and ended the first half of the season with a .261/.331/.517 slash line with 23 homers.

Aledmys Díaz benched with righty starting. Díaz was out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Red Sox. While Oakland faced left-handed starting pitchers in four of its past five games, Díaz had started at first base or third base on four occasions, going a collective 4-for-15 during that stretch. He was on the bench Sunday versus right-hander Tayler Scott and looks as though he'll be relegated to a utility role for the time being, with most of Díaz's starting opportunities expected to come against southpaws.

Vladimir Gutiérrez is months away from facing hitters. Gutiérrez is tentatively scheduled to resume facing hitters in live batting practice July 25, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. Gutiérrez is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, a procedure he underwent July 20, 2022. The fact that the Reds have already identified a date a month down the road for when Gutiérrez might face hitters suggests he's already resumed a throwing program, though it's unclear whether he's currently throwing bullpen sessions or if he remains limited to playing catch off flat ground. Cincinnati is hoping that Gutiérrez will be ready to start a minor-league rehab assignment in the first week of August before potentially joining the big-league bullpen later that month or sometime in September.

Dodgers optioned INF Miguel Vargas to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

This was expected. The 23-year-old rookie infielder has been slumping at the dish. He’ll attempt to work through his issues at the Triple-A level before returning at some point after the All-Star break. On the season, Vargas has hit just .195/.305/.367 with seven homers, 32 RBI and three stolen bases in 304 plate appearances with the Dodgers.



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