Diaz is one of several options to get at-bats as Houston's designated hitter in 2019, Brian McTaggart of the Astros' official site reports. Evan Gattis received the most DH plate appearances in 2018, but he's a free agent and unlikely to return. Houston had a .750 OPS as a team in the DH spot last year, which ranked 10th in the American League, so it could be in the market for a hitter. If the Astros don't bring anyone in, they have in-house options and enough position versatility to cover the position. Diaz, who hit 18 home runs with a .756 OPS for Toronto last year, is one of them. The Astros can also rotate Michael Brantley and Yuli Gurriel.
Diaz was traded from the Blue Jays to the Astros in exchange for Trent Thornton on Saturday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports. Diaz appeared in 130 games for Toronto in 2018, slashing .263/.303/.453 while launching 18 home runs. He figures to serve as a utility infielder for the Astros during the upcoming campaign.
Diaz is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Rays, Hazel Mae of Sportsnet reports. Diaz sits for the first time in a week after his 0-for-3 showing Wednesday ended a five-game hitting streak. Richard Urena will start at shortstop.
Diaz is out of the lineup for Friday's game agianst Tampa Bay, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports. Diaz will take a seat after starting the last three games and is slashing .308/.333/.538 in September. Yangervis Solarte will start at third base and bat seventh for the Blue Jays on Friday.
Diaz is not in the lineup Monday against the Orioles. Diaz will stick on the bench for a second consecutive game after starting 12 of the first 14 games to open September. Yangervis Solarte will cover the hot corner in his absence, allowing Richard Urena to pick up a start at the keystone.