White gets DFA tag as Astros add pitcher

July 20th, 2019

HOUSTON -- Infielder was designated for assignment Friday following the Astros’ 4-3 win over the Rangers, which likely ends his time in the Houston organization.

The club called up rookie right-hander Jose Urquidy to start Saturday against the Rangers.

White, 28, was slashing .225/.320/.330 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 218 at-bats this year, mainly split between first base and designated hitter. A 33rd-round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, White defied the odds by making the Opening Day roster in 2016 and was named American League Player of the Week in his first week in the big leagues.

After appearing in just 22 games for the Astros in ’17, he hit .276 with an .888 OPS, 12 homers and 42 RBIs in 66 games last year, setting him up to begin this season as the team’s regular DH. When Aledmys Diaz and Carlos Correa went out in May with hamstring injuries, White saw extensive time at first base. He also appeared in four games as a pitcher this year.

White, who declined interview requests after exchanging hugs with his teammates following the game Friday, struck out 74 times in 218 at-bats this year. Last year, he struck out 49 times in 210 at-bats.

Diaz is on a Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi and could return in the next few days, which means Yuli Gurriel would return to first base full time. There are few at-bats at DH, with rookie Yordan Alvarez off to a historic start since he came up. Correa should return in a week, which will force the Astros to make another move to open a spot for him.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that, as well. Within seven days of the transaction -- it was previously 10 days -- the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.