The Astros lose Yuli Gurriel for 5-6 weeks with left hand surgery

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Jose Altuve
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Jose Altuve /

Yuki Gurriel’s surgery will open the door for the younger Astros players.

The teams like to have depth on their roster, As the Astros are learning, there are no such things as too many options. One of the reasons for the Astros success last year was the depth and ability to go out there and trade to fill in holes. It is unlikely that a team will stay healthy all year, so you stock the farm system with MLB ready players.

It was announced earlier today that Yuli Gurriel would miss the next 5-6 weeks with a fractured hamate bone in his left hand. This information is from Brian McTaggart and others. When I got home, it was the first thing my wife asked about. He will miss opening day. There is no question about it.

Stay calm.

However, there is no need for the Astros to go out and sign a Jonathan Lucroy or Carlos Gonzalez. What they need is a short-term answer, Gurriel could be back on the third week of the season. They only need to sign one of those players if they don’t believe in Max Stassi or Derek Fisher. They will give Fisher a shot and Stassi is looking good early in spring.

With Gurriel out for the rest of spring training, the Astros will have an extended look at A.J. Reed, Tyler White, and J.D. Davis. One of these guys would get a chance to be on the active roster for longer than the initial five-game suspension. Speaking of the suspension, Joel Sherman says that Gurriel will still have to serve it when he returns from the DL. Sherman also states that they will rely on internal options.

While Davis has played third base in professional baseball, he did play first base and pitched in college. With enough time this spring, Davis could get back to playing first if that is the route they decide to go. Reed is the natural first baseman, but can he learn to hit above Triple-A pitches. The likely winner will be White, who is working on moving around the infield this spring.

Will Margo be the primary first baseman?

Marwin Gonzalez will play first base maybe 3-4 days a week, but they will use him at other positions. The value of Gonzalez is based on how he hits and his position flexibility. White and Davis both bat right-handed, which is what Hunter Atkins thinks A.J. Hinch is seeking. Hinch confirmed that they want Gonzalez moving around in this video.

Back to Gurriel, once he is healed, he will have to restart his spring training. Once he is ready, he will probably report to Corpus Christi for a rehab assignment. When he is ready, he will serve his five-game suspension. Whoever replaces Gurriel could get an extended look in April. If they impress, they could stick around.

How did Gurriel injure himself?  No one is sure. Via Jake Kaplan, Jeff Luhnow said that it was something that Gurriel has dealt with for a few years. It started bothering him recently, so he went to see a specialist and ended up having the surgery.

Next: What does the 2018 season have in store for Kyle Tucker?

While it’s a minor blow, it’s better that it happened earlier than later. Gurriel will come back late April or early May ready to help in the quest to go back to back.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***