Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters that Gurriel is expected to miss five to six weeks, meaning he will be sidelined for at least the first week of the season.
Luhnow also noted Gurriel’s upcoming five-game suspension for his racially insensitive gesture during last year’s World Series and stressed that the Astros intend to look internally for a replacement at first base during Gurriel’s absence.
“This is a minor setback,” Luhnow said. “It will provide an opportunity for somebody on our roster to play in the big leagues while Yuli is recuperating. We knew that was going to be the case anyway for the suspension, but instead of five days, it might be 10 days or 15 days. Whoever it is who gets that spot is going to have more time to prove themselves.”
The surgery, performed Wednesday morning in Houston, removed the hook of the hamate bone in Gurriel’s left hand.
Luhnow said that the surgery corrected a preexisting condition that Gurriel had for at least the last few years. Gurriel did not start experiencing symptoms until recently, according to Luhnow.
Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch both mentioned Tyler White, AJ Reed and J.D. Davis as potential in-house replacements at first base. Utility man Marwin Gonzalez also will see more time at first base this spring, but Hinch noted that the Astros still “want to move him around quite a bit.”
“We feel like we’ve got the guys internally,” Luhnow said. “We have depth at the positions that Yuli plays, so it’s not a matter where we have to go outside the organization at this point. It provides a nice opportunity internally.”
Gurriel was scratched from Monday’s game against the Marlins with what the team initially said was discomfort in his left wrist. Hinch clarified Tuesday that the injury was actually to Gurriel’s hand, not the wrist.
Gurriel, a former Cuban star, is entering his third season in the majors. Last season, he batted .299 with 18 homers and 75 RBIs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Los Angeles Angels, Joe Maddon hope to get Mike Trout before season ends, though his ‘timeline keeps getting pushed back’
Trout missed his 67th game since going on the injured list May 18 with a right calf strain. This is only the third time he has been on the injured list in his 11 big league seasons, and this is his longest stretch of missed games.
Trout, who turns 30 on Saturday, went on the injured list a day after he came up limping when he was on the bases in the first inning of a home game against Cleveland. He had been expected to miss six to eight weeks, but Tuesday marked 11 weeks since he was put on the injured list. Trout wasn’t with the team in Texas.
“Obviously, the timeline keeps getting pushed back,” Maddon said. “We all thought that he’d be playing right around now at the worst, and it’s not happening. We’ll keep playing it all the way through.”
With the Angels under .500 and in fourth place in the AL West with 55 games remaining after the second of four against the Rangers, Maddon was asked if there had been any thought of not having Trout try to return this season.
“He’s working really hard. He wants to get back, so we have not had a discussion of just giving up on him,” Maddon said.
When he got hurt, Trout was leading the major leagues with a .466 on-base percentage. He hit .333 with eight homers and 18 RBIs in 36 games.
Trout is in the third year of the $426.5 million, 12-year contract he signed during spring training in 2019. The overall value changed slightly when the pandemic shortened last season to 60 games, reducing his salary to $15 million from $36 million.
Tampa Bay Rays’ Tyler Glasnow to have Tommy John surgery Wednesday
Glasnow has been on the injured list since June 15. The 27-year-old right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts.
The news was not unexpected.
Glasnow visited Dr. Keith Meister on Saturday, at which time Rays manager Kevin Cash said surgery was the likely outcome.
The decision was finalized after a follow-up examination Tuesday.
Tampa Bay began the day leading the American League East by one game over the Boston Red Sox despite having 15 pitchers on the IL.
Toronto Blue Jays’ Cavan Biggio goes on 10-day IL with nagging back issue
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Biggio has been bothered by the back issue all season, but said he is hopeful the stint won’t be longer than the minimum.
Biggio, 26, went 0-for-3 with a walk in Monday night’s 5-2 loss in 10 innings. He is batting .215 with seven homers and 26 RBIs this season.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Corey Dickerson was activated from the IL and started in Tuesday night’s game against the Cleveland Indians. Dickerson was sixth in the lineup as the designated hitter.
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