Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel will have to wait even longer before playing this season.
Gurriel had surgery on his left hand Wednesday and the normal recovery time is six weeks.
Opening day for the World Series champions is March 29, when the Astros visit Texas. When Gurriel returns, he will serve a five-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball for making an inappropriate gesture toward Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish during the World Series.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Gurriel’s hand was broken before he came to camp. Luhnow said he did not know the original cause of the fracture.
“It was non-symptomatic until recently and he started to feel something,” Luhnow said. “Once you start feeling something, the right course of action is to just remove it because it’s a pretty reliable surgery, and we know what the outcome is going to be.”
The 33-year-old Gurriel hit .299 with 18 homers and 75 RBIs last year in his first full season in the majors. He played in one exhibition game this spring and homered.
A.J. Reed, J.D. Davis and Tyler White will get time to audition as a replacement.
Houston also can turn to Marwin Gonzalez, who feels comfortable all over the field. He played 31 games at first last year, and led Houston with 90 RBIs.
“Marwin will get a few more reps at first, although he doesn’t need as many reps at first given that we still want to move him around quite a bit,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES
TWINS (SS) 4, ASTROS 2
Jose Altuve went 3 for 3, George Springer had two hits and scored a run and Alex Bregman homered for Houston. Lance McCullers Jr. started for the Astros and allowed two hits with three strikeouts in two innings. Erick Aybar had two hits and scored a run for a Minnesota split squad.