Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
The New York Yankees might have shortstop Didi Gregorius available at some point during the 2018 season after all.
According to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Gregorius “is encouraged by how much better his wrist feels” and “believes” he will suit up again at some point this year.
This comes after Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reported Gregorius tore cartilage in his wrist and underwent an MRI and cortisol treatment. At the time, manager Aaron Boone said he was “unsure” if the shortstop would return in 2018.
This is welcome news for a Yankees team that will need all the firepower it can get in the pressure-packed, win-or-go-home, American League Wild Card Game.
Gregorius has appeared in 132 games for the Bronx Bombers this season and is slashing .268/.336/.498 with a career-best 27 home runs and 86 RBI. He also brings some speed to the base paths with 10 steals and gives New York a left-handed bat to help balance out a powerful lineup featuring right-handers such as Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez.
Boone discussed the importance of having Gregorius available and on the field when he went on the disabled list earlier this season, per Coley Harvey of ESPN.com.
“Obviously, Didi is so important to what we do, he’s such an important player to us, the middle of our lineup, the middle of our field—he’s kind of our quarterback out there,” Boone said. “He does so many things intangibly well that we certainly will miss him. But we also feel like we have the people capable of stepping up for him while he’s down.”
New York can move Gleyber Torres to shortstop and rely on the likes of Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes at second base while Gregorius is out, but it likely needs its powerful shortstop back and in the lineup if it is going to challenge for a World Series crown.