If the Houston Astros are going to clinch the 2022 World Series, they'll have to do it without starting first baseman Yuli Gurriel.
MLB announced ahead of Game 6 on Saturday that Gurriel had been removed from the Astros' World Series roster due to a knee injury, which was reportedly confirmed by MLB medical director Dr. Gary Green. The Astros will replace Gurriel with rookie catcher Korey Lee.
Gurriel's knee injury appeared to happen on a rundown during the seventh inning of Game 5, as he left the game right after. You can see his leg twist awkwardly as he falls right before the tag:
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The 38-year-old Gurriel is a significant loss for the Astros. One of their longest-tenured players, his regular season performance was nothing to write home about (.242/.288/.360 with eight homers and eight stolen bases), but he has been a force in the playoffs, hitting .347/.360/.490.
He hadn't struck out all postseason until Thursday.
Rather than add an infielder who could replace him, the Astros opted for a third catcher in Lee, who hit 4-for-25 in his first 12 games of MLB action this year. That left the Astros starting trade deadline acquisition Trey Mancini at first for Game 6, which isn't exactly an upgrade considering he is 0-for-18 in the postseason and hit .176 in the regular season after being acquired by the Astros.
Christian Vazquez, the team's back-up catcher, took over the designated hitter role that Mancini and Yordan Alvarez have often filled for Houston this season.