August 21, 2016

BALTIMORE (AP) The Houston Astros are bringing Cuban defector Yulieski Gurriel to the big leagues.

After signing a five-year contract in July and spending some time in the minors, the 32-year-old third baseman will join the Astros at Camden Yards on Sunday.

His recall from Triple-A Fresno comes after Houston third baseman Luis Valbuena experienced a setback Saturday in his attempt to come back from a right hamstring strain.

Manager A.J. Hinch believes Gurriel should be ready to go.

Hinch said, ''He got up to 50 at-bats with us in the minor leagues. That's a normal spring training for him. We've bounced him around the country. But from a baseball standpoint he's ready, and he's ready for this challenge.''

Hinch said Gurriel would play Sunday and make his debut as a designated hitter.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve said, ''We have real high expectations for him. We hear he's a really great player. I can't wait to play next to him.''

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