Astros Remove Yuli Gurriel From World Series Roster


16:12: Gurriel has a right MCL sprain, Astros general manager James Click told reporters (including Chandler Rome from the Houston Chronicle).

15:33: The Astros are one win away from making it to the World Series, but heading into tonight’s crucial Game 6, the team has made a roster. catcher Korey Lee was added to roster instead of first baseman Yuli Gurrielwho sustained a knee injury in Game 5. Under league rules, Gurriel will now also be ineligible for the remainder of the series, should the Phillies win tonight and force a game of seven.

Gurriel’s injury occurred in the seventh inning of Game 5, when Gurriel clumsily bent his leg while being tagged out in a lapsed game. Gurriel stayed on first base through the bottom of the seventh, but Trey Mancinic then a pinch-hit to Gurriel during his next scheduled at bat in the top of the eighth.

There’s no indication that Gurriel’s knee is more than sore, but as he’s still not good enough to play after an off day, the Astros aren’t taking any chances leaving themselves with an understaffed roster. Of course, despite the logic involved in the decision, there was still some emotion in removing the old Astro from the roster. Manager Dusty Baker told Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post and other reporters who Gurriel “tried everything“to be ready for Game 6, and had”tears in his eyes” about not being healthy enough to play.

It now creates a decent opportunity for Lee, who made his Major League-debut in 2022 and has played in only 12 games as a big leaguer. Lee has not been involved in MLB competition since July 31 and has not had any form of game action since a Triple-A game on September 26. Martin Maldonado and Christian Vazquez have locked the two capture positions.

Both Vazquez and Maldonado are in the lineup tonight, with Vazquez at DH and Maldonado behind the plate. (Mancini takes over first base from Gurriel.) Lee’s inclusion on the roster gives the Astros some extra flexibility as a catcher, allowing Vazquez to advance to the designated batter. Of course, the Astros hope to use Lee purely for depth purposes, as it’s unlikely he would see any action in the game outside of an injury situation.

With Gurriel gone for the rest of the World Series, it’s possible he’s already played his last game in an Astros uniform. The 38-year-old Gurriel is slated for free agency, and after hitting just .242/.288/.360 over 584 at bats during the regular season, there was an expectation that Houston could move to another first base option before 2023. Indeed. The acquisition of Mancini (another free agent) on the trade deadline was an early indicator that Houston felt more production was needed from the first starting spot, though Mancini also struggled after coming over from the Orioles.

If this is Gurriel’s last hurray with the Astros, at least he went out on the strength of a very solid postseason run. Gurriel hit .347/.360/.490 with two homeruns over 50 at bats during these playoffs, and is the Astros’ postseason leader in batting average. Mancini’s struggle has only gotten worse in the postseason as he hasn’t had a single hit in the 21 PA playoffs yet.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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