Didi Gregorius, who injured his elbow during the 2018 ALDS against the Boston Red Sox and had Tommy John surgery shortly afterwards, returns to the New York Yankees line up as early as Friday after a speedy recovery.
Last season, Gregorius hit .286 with 27 home runs and 86 RBI in 134 games for the Bronx Bombers. He hit 25 home runs in 2017 and 20 homers during a breakout season in 2016.
Gregorius, 29, missed the entire season while rehabbing his right elbow injury. He is completing rehab assignments with the Yankees AAA team in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. According to manager Aaron Boone, Gregorius is expected to join the team in Cleveland during their weekend series against the Indians.
During his short stint in AAA, Gregorius went 1-for-21 at the plate in five games. He hit only .048 with his only hit a home run. He will play one more game before joining the Yankees.
With Didi’s back in the lineup, the Yankees now have five infielders for Boone. Gleyber Torres will return to second base and give Gregorius a breather while he gets back into form.
DJ LeMahieu has been one of the most consistent hitters on the Yanks. Aaron Boone will want to keep him in the lineup at both first base and second base. Gio Urshela has been the biggest surprise for the Yankees. The third baseman earned himself a spot in the lineup with his stellar defense and timely hitting.
Sir Didi Returns
Gregorius tore cartridge in his wrist late in the season, but he gutted it out and played the remainder of the season. He injured his elbow in the ALDS during Game 1 or 2 against the Red Sox. Despite the pain, he played in Game 3 and 4. The Yanks lost the series 3-1 and the Red Sox would eventually run the table in the playoffs and win the World Series.
The Yankees projected Gregorius to miss at least half of the 2019 season or possibly more. An upbeat Gregorius said he’d see everyone in June. Position players with UCL elbow injuries do not have as long of a road to come back from Tommy John surgery compared to pitchers.
Gregorius beat expectations during a season dubbed “Bronx ER”, due to the numerous injuries to key players. At one point, 17 members of the team spent time on the IL. CC Sabathia just returned from his second stint.
The Yankees hope Gregorius has a successful return unlike third baseman Miguel Andujar. The difference is that Andujar did not opt for shoulder surgery and tried to rest a month before returning too fast. After a brief stint back in the Bronx, the Yankees shut down Andujar for the season and scheduled him for surgery to repair the torn labrum.
The first-place Replacement Yankees (38-21) are at the start of a six-game road trip. They fly to Cleveland for the weekend to face the Indians (30-30), who are 10 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins (40-19) in the AL Central.