Houston Astros: Yuli Gurriel working out pain-free in recovery

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Yuli Gurriel
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Yuli Gurriel /

The Houston Astros Spring Training season is over and now our guys will be coming back home for good.  This past month was mostly a success and the news of Yuli Gurriel’s recovery from injury is right on track is certainly good news.  Let’s examine this further a bit.

The Houston Astros finished up Spring Training with most of the few kinks they had worked out and they’re ready to start the 162-game marathon — not sprint — toward defending their title.  They have an excellent chance to do so and it’ll be the first time in nearly two decades a team has won a back-to-back title.

It’s so hard to repeat in Major League Baseball but if any team can, it’s this one.  They’re stacked at just about every position possible and they still have a plethora talent that had to be sent back to the farm because of the glut of talent that’s on the roster.  Obviously, the underdog making the roster is the versatile J.D. Davis, whose strong March numbers as well as his performance out on the diamond warranted his spot being reserved for him.

He’s going to be a pivotal component of this team moving forward, especially these early weeks without Yuli Gurriel.  Gurriel is still recovering from surgery to remove a hook off the hamate bone of his left hand.  He’s still on track to be ready within the six-week time frame that was estimated for him.

According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, Gurriel partook in some practice swings of the bat

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off a high-velocity pitch machine yesterday afternoon; and so far, things have come out quite solid.  He has indicated that he was able to complete the session, an important step to the recovery process virtually pain-free.

Gurriel says he felt “pretty good” and A.J. Hinch is prepared to work him into some simulated games as well as live batting practices next week to help him get more back on track.

He, of course, won’t be at first base to start off Opening Day but it’s expected that Marwin Gonzalez will man 1st for the majority of the time while he’s out.  I made my case a few days ago for Davis to get the start at first to which I think will actually happen whenever Hinch starts tinkering with lineups for effectiveness purposes.

When it’s conclusive that Gurriel will make his return, he will serve a five-game suspension for the infamous “eye-squint” he made toward Yu Darvish early back in the World Series.  So according to my calculation with the timetable involved, that should put him back on the field sometime toward the middle or late next month.

Because of the Houston Astros’ depth, they can take their time in bringing him back and they’ll obviously take the utmost of precautions in doing so.  It’s understood that one’s power from these types of injuries diminishes a bit but comes back quickly with intensive — but the correct dose — of rehabilitation.

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We’ll have to see but I think he’ll be fine.

Gurriel, 33, had a slash line of .299/.332/.486 with an .817 OPS along with 18 home runs and 75 ribbies.

Go Astros.