HOUSTON – The Astros placed utility infielder Aledmys Díaz on the 10-day injured list Saturday after he strained his right groin in Friday’s season-opening win over the Mariners. The team called up infielder/outfielder Taylor Jones from the alternative training site in Corpus Christi for his Major League debut.
Díaz, who was bothered by neck soreness for much of Summer Camp, started at designated hitter Friday and was pulled after a leadoff single in the fifth inning. In his first season with the Astros last year, Díaz was limited to only 69 games after two trips to the IL.
“We hate to lose Díaz, because he was just rounding into shape,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “We don’t have a timeline on long he’ll be out or how long it’s going to take for him to get healthy.”
Díaz told reporters after Saturday's game that his injury is between a Grade 1 and Grade 2 strain.
Jones, 26, reported to Corpus Christi on Friday in preparation of working out with the players in Houston’s reserve pool and was told around midnight he’d have to drive back to Houston in the morning to join the big league club.
“Of course, during that drive I was able to reflect back on all my stops in the Minor Leagues and all the work that I put in,” Jones said. “Just a feeling of excitement and being grateful.”
Jones, a 19th-round pick out of Gonzaga, grew up in Kent, Wash., as a fan of Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners, the team he’ll face in his Major League debut. His family was gathered back in Washington watching Friday’s opener between the Mariners and Astros when he called late Friday and told them the news.
“It was nice because after the game I was able to call them and they were all still there,” he said. “It was extra special for them. My wife was asleep, and I woke her up. I don’t think she minded being woke up.”
Jones hit .291 with a .388 on-base percentage with 22 homers and 84 RBIs in 125 games last year at Triple-A Round Rock. He can play first base, third base and the outfield.
“I told him go down with a good attitude and work your butt off. I didn’t have an idea it was going to be this soon,” Baker said. “I’m sure he was very, very happy.”