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NASCAR title contenders are ‘best of the best’ – Kyle Busch

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Roberto Osuna slated to be activated by Astros on Sunday

Astros manager A.J. Hinch met privately with the team’s owner and general manager on Saturday, a day ahead of reliever Roberto Osuna being activated following a 75-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

Hinch discussed the matter with owner Jim Crane and GM Jeff Luhnow, but declined to go into details. The manager said Osuna will join the club on Sunday and be activated for the series finale at Dodger Stadium.

Osuna was arrested in Toronto in May and charged with assaulting his girlfriend. No details have been made public and the matter is pending in court.

MLB handed him the second-longest suspension since its domestic violence policy was enacted three years ago and Osuna did not appeal.

The Astros acquired the right-handed reliever from the Blue Jays at the trade deadline this week. The move raised eyebrows in the clubhouse and around baseball since Houston had previously stated its no-tolerance policy regarding domestic violence.

‘A lot has to happen’

The team released minor leaguer Danry Vasquez last spring after surveillance video surfaced showing him assaulting a woman.

Astros starters Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr. were outspoken about their disgust on Twitter at that time.

“A lot has to happen tomorrow,” Hinch said, “and as a team, family and group we’ll navigate it together.”

Osuna was not at Dodger Stadium on Saturday. He pitched one scoreless inning for Double-A Corpus Christi on Friday, allowing one hit with one strikeout.

Hinch’s first order of business will be to talk with Osuna.

“I certainly want to get to know him and his background. I’ve never met him, never shook his hand,” the manager said. “I know a little bit of his track record. We’ll get into anything that he wants to. I’m his manager now so I think it’s important to get to know him and learn what makes him be the player that he can be.”

Increased scrutiny

The 23-year-old right-hander is the youngest pitcher to ever record 100 saves and he can throw 95 mph.

The World Series champion Astros are known for being a close-knit team that banded together to help Houston after last year’s devastating floods triggered by Hurricane Harvey.

“That’s not going to change,” Hinch said.

The effect Osuna’s presence has on the team will be closely scrutinized.

“We are going to handle it as a group as best we can,” Hinch said. “We simply don’t know and we aren’t going to draw any conclusions at this point. We’re going to welcome him on our team and begin the process of getting to know him.”

CBC.ca

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