WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Astros infielder Yuli Gurriel was scratched from the lineup prior to Monday's 11-0 split-squad loss to the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla., with left wrist discomfort. Gurriel sought out a trainer during workouts Monday morning and complained about his wrist hurting.
"He came out a little sore during his work today," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We did some infield work and he didn't feel very good with the glove on his hand, and we told him not to hit and pulled him out of the lineup. It's still February. We don't know a ton. It wasn't a 911 emergency as much as it was precautionary reasons."
Gurriel, the Astros' starting first baseman, was told last week by Hinch he would play some third base, second base and shortstop this year. He started 130 games at first base for the Astros last year in his first full season in the big leagues.
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Gurriel, who will be suspended for the first five regular-season games this year following the insensitive gesture he directed toward Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish in the World Series last year, had a bang-up rookie season as a 33-year-old. He hit .299 with 18 homers and 75 RBIs.
Altuve happy for Martinez
When Astros second baseman Jose Altuve got called up from Double-A Corpus Christi to the big leagues in July 2011, his Double-A teammate, J.D. Martinez, broke the news on Twitter, much to the displeasure of the Astros. Martinez joined Altuve in the big leagues 10 days later, and both have reached stardom.
Altuve, of course, is a three-time American League batting champion who won the AL Most Valuable Player Award last year while helping the Astros to the World Series title. The Astros released Martinez in the spring of 2014 and watched him blossom into an All-Star in Detroit. After hitting 29 homers in 62 games for the D-backs last year, he signed a five-year, $110 million deal with the Red Sox on Monday.
"I love it," Altuve said. "He deserves it, especially after all he went through here. He got released. He went through tough years, and obviously after that, we all know what he did. I'm really happy he got a $110 million contract."
Altuve, a free agent following the 2019 season smiled from ear to ear while mentioning the salary figure. Both Martinez and Altuve, as well as Marwin Gonzalez and Dallas Keuchel (two free agents after this year), are represented by agent Scott Boras.
The Astros have two open spots in the bullpen, assuming everyone stays healthy this spring and Brad Peacock opens the year in the bullpen. Tony Sipp, the veteran lefty who's in the final year of a three-year, $18 million deal, is vying to make the club as the lefty specialist, and he had a perfect outing in an 8-7 win over the Mets on Monday, striking out one batter.
Sipp has struggled the last two years, and last year he was left off the playoff roster. Reymin Guduan, Player Page for Buddy Boshers and Rule 5 Draft pickup Anthony Gose are the other lefties in camp.
"Sipp was good," Hinch said. "His arm strength is up a little bit. I thought he threw a good slider, he threw a couple of good splits. We're paying close attention to his outings early in camp to see what the hand speed is, matching what he's done when he's been successful. We need to look at the video and break it down a little bit."
Meanwhile, James Hoyt, who's battling for a spot, was roughed up by the Marlins, allowing four runs in 1 2/3 innings.
"If he throws that changeup to me 100 times, he's going to strike me out 100 times." -- Altuve, after striking out looking against the Mets' Noah Syndergaard, who was topping 100 mph Monday before throwing a 92-mph changeup to get Altuve to strike out
Peacock will make his first spring start for the Astros in Tuesday's 12:10 p.m. CT game against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., live on Gameday Audio. Peacock, who began last year in the bullpen before doing a terrific job as a starter, has emerged as a key piece for the Astros and is likely headed to the bullpen, considering the club's rotation depth.