Astros promote Yanier Diaz to Triple-A Sugar Land

Mandatory credit: The Corpus Christi Caller Times
Mandatory credit: The Corpus Christi Caller Times /
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The Astros reassigned catcher Yanier Diaz to Triple-A Sugar Land from Double-A Corpus Christi.

Acquired from Cleveland with Phil Maton in the Myles Straw at the 2021 trade deadline, Yanier Diaz took the biggest step in his Minor League career Monday, receiving a promotion to Triple-A Sugar Land. The Houston Astros reassigned the 23-year-old following a standout 57 games with the Corpus Christi Hooks this year.

Diaz slashed .316/.367/.504 through 267 plate appearances. The right-handed launched nine home runs, roped 13 doubles and drove 48 runners with the Hooks, while ranked the Astros’ No. 14 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

The Space Cowboys now roster three catchers with Korey Lee and Scott Manea also at disposal. Listed as a catcher, Diaz played more innings at first base with the Hooks than behind the plate — 224.2 compared to 199.

With J.J. Matijevic in the big leagues, Diaz adds versatility behind the plate and at first base where Taylor Jones would see the most of his starts following his rehab assignment. Without an easy path back to the Astros, Jones will likely be added to the 40-man roster and then optioned following his 20-day window.

As a corresponding move, catcher Cesar Salazar was reassigned to Double-A Corpus Christi. Salazar was promoted to Triple-A Sugar Land on May 17, after the Astros dealt catcher Michael Papierski to the San Francisco Giants — who designated the 26-year-old for assignment Saturday.

Salazar slashed .203/.273/.220 through 17 games with the Space Cowboys, possessing a higher OPS and better defense at the first base position than Manea. The 26-year-old reached Triple-A last season for a short stint but started the 2022 season with the Hooks.

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Outfielder Alex McKenna was reassigned to Double-A from Triple-A on Monday, too. The non-roster invite posted a career-low .615 OPS with the Space Cowboys, playing 166 innings in center field. The addition of Dillon Thomas and his struggles at the dish likely forced this move.

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