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Gurriel avoids DL, begins serving suspension

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

ARLINGTON -- First baseman Yuli Gurriel, who underwent surgery on Feb. 28 to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand, will likely avoid the disabled list to start the season. Instead he began serving a five-game suspension on Thursday, when he was placed on the restricted list, meaning he could be eligible to play on Tuesday against the Orioles at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros also placed right-handers James Hoyt (strained left oblique), Jandel Gustave (right elbow surgery) and Brady Rodgers (right elbow surgery) on the DL, retroactive to Monday.

ARLINGTON -- First baseman Yuli Gurriel, who underwent surgery on Feb. 28 to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand, will likely avoid the disabled list to start the season. Instead he began serving a five-game suspension on Thursday, when he was placed on the restricted list, meaning he could be eligible to play on Tuesday against the Orioles at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros also placed right-handers James Hoyt (strained left oblique), Jandel Gustave (right elbow surgery) and Brady Rodgers (right elbow surgery) on the DL, retroactive to Monday.

Gurriel, who was suspended in October for an offensive gesture he made toward former Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish during the World Series, is at the team's Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., continuing his rehab from the surgery. He won't be able to participate in Monday's home opener and pregame festivities, which are to include the unveiling of the 2017 World Series championship banner, but he will be eligible to be on the field for the ring ceremony on Tuesday.

"He can't really do anything with us," manager AJ Hinch said. "He's down in West Palm being part of the Minor League Spring Training that's still going on. He's got 10 or 11 at-bats in the past couple of days in a game, which is a good start to getting back healthy. Once his suspension is served, we'll make a determination whether he's healthy enough to join us."

There's a chance Gurriel could be placed on the DL after the five days are up if he has a setback or hasn't progressed as expected.

"Anything can happen in the next few days, but we certainly hope that he's ready to go," Hinch said.

Gurriel, who was signed out of Cuba and made his big league debut in 2016, hit .299 with 18 homers and 75 RBIs and recorded the final out of last year's World Series. He started 130 games at first base in his first full season in the big leagues.

Manfred to participate in championship ceremony

Commissioner Rob Manfred, who was in attendance for Thursday's Opening Day game against the Rangers at Globe Life Park, will be in Houston on Tuesday when the Astros give out World Series championship rings to players, coaches and field staff in a pregame ceremony.

Manfred will be given a championship ring, which is customary. Owner Jim Crane said on Thursday the club expects to give out about 900 rings. Part-time game-day staff, including the ushers, will receive one, Crane said.

"We're trying to get it all the way down to everybody in the building, anybody associated with the team," Crane said. "We want everybody that helped out, including the ushers and including the guys working in the back of the buildings, to enjoy that.

"They've been there a long time. Some guys have been there 20, 30 years, and it's great to get that. A lot went into [the ring]. I think everybody is going to love the decision. It's got a little bit of everything in it, and we're anxious to give them out."

Crane, who delivered the Astros' first championship in the franchise's 56th season, anticipates that his club will make a strong push to repeat.

"We're not sitting on anything, and I think we'll come out on fire," he said.

Brian McTaggart. has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Houston Astros, Yuli Gurriel