Yuli Gurriel replaced by Korey Lee on Astros’ World Series roster 

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HOUSTON — Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who left Game 5 of the World Series early with a right knee injury, was removed from the team due to a right MCL sprain and was replaced by rookie catcher Korey Lee. Houston manager Dusty Baker said Gurriel ran on the field earlier Saturday to test his knee.

dr. Major League Baseball medical director Gary Green confirmed the injury after communicating with the reviewing physician. MLB post-season rules state that a team may request permission from the commissioner’s office to replace a player who is unable to play due to injury.

“[Gurriel] tried everything’, says Bakker. “He came in yesterday and got treatment, came in this morning and got treatment and didn’t react well enough to play. He tried to run, and from a guy with knee injuries, the hardest thing to do is stop and then walk around the bases and sideways movement. He tried everything. He didn’t cry, but he had tears in his eyes. You could see how much he wanted to play. He just couldn’t and we had to replace him.”

With a third catcher on their roster, the Astros Christian Vázquez started as designated batter in Game 6, with Martín Maldonado behind the plate. Lee, who hit .160 in 12 games for Houston this year, was on the club’s taxi squad. Baker said he was thinking about hitting Vázquez often at DH this year. He only did it once because he didn’t want to risk one of the two catchers getting injured.

“No. 1, he’s a liaison,” Baker said of Vázquez. “I can do a lot with him. I did that once as an experiment to see. I wanted to do it a few times but I didn’t necessarily want to, just in case something happened to Maldy… I really didn’t want to put my team in a position where I would lose [the] DH and put in a pitcher and hit for the pitcher and returned to my National League days with just a four man bench. ”

Gurriel injured his knee in the seventh inning in Game 5 when he was clumsily tagged by Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins during a rundown. The injury came after Gurriel’s impressive run of 48 consecutive at bats without a strikeout this postseason, which ended in the fourth inning when he came face to face with Connor Brogdon.

Gurriel, who reached the Finals in Game 7 to take the 2017 World Series win over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, batted .347 (17-for-49) with two homeruns and four RBI’s in the postseason, including 6-for-19 with one RBI in the World Series. Trey Mancini replaced him at first base in Game 5 and made a great play to prevent a Kyle Schwarber line drive to first base.

“Yuli is one of our best hitters in the postseason, so obviously it stinks not having him,” said midfielder Chas McCormick. “But we have guys who know their roles, and we have confidence in everyone who will be in that lineup. We have a lot of good hitters in this team.”

Astros Game 6 starter Framber Valdez has the highest number of ground balls in MLB and Gurriel is an outstanding defender, having won a Gold Glove Award last year. So it goes without saying that there will be plenty of opportunities for Mancini at first base. Baker said Mancini is primarily because he has the most experience in the position.

“It’s Mancini’s time to shine,” Baker said.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
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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