The New York Yankees have been sliding recently, but SS Didi Gregorius has returned from Tommy John surgery swinging a hot bat.
The New York Yankees (42-27) find themselves in the middle of a slide having lost six of their last 10 games, but there are some silver linings in regards to the return of shortstop Didi Gregorius.
After missing the first two months of the season recovering from offseason Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, Gregorius returned to the Yankees’ active roster June 7 following his reinstatement from the 60-day injured list. In the seven games since his return, Gregorius already looks to be in mid-season form.
The 29-year-old shortstop has given the Yankees offense some new life from the left side of the plate, recording at least two hits in each of the four games since his return to the lineup. Gregorius has 10 hits in 26 at-bats (.326 avg) including a double, a home run and three RBIs. He’s also boasting an incredibly strong .946 OPS.
He’s the first Yankee to record multi-hit performances in each of the first four games to begin a season since Alfonso Soriano did so in 2003, per Katie Sharp.
Didi Gregorious: 1st Yankee since Alfonso Soriano in 2003 with 2+ Hits in each of his first 4 games started to begin a season.— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) June 14, 2019
Some of it has gone for naught since his return seeing as the Yankees have played some pretty inconsistent ball but having Gregorius back in the lineup simply brings a unique presence both to the field and to the locker room—where he is one of the most respected and beloved faces.
The Amsterdam native is coming off of a career year in 2018. Playing in 134 games during the regular season, Gregorius set career-high totals in home runs (27), on-base percentage (.335), slugging percentage (.494) and OPS (.829). His 86 RBIs on the season were the second-most of his career and just one behind his career-high set in 2017.
There, of course, has been some rust in Gregorius’ game since his return, but it has been on the opposite side of the ball. There were some fielding miscues for Gregorius upon his return as he’s already committed two errors. However, this recent series against the Chicago White Sox has shown he’s well on his way to rounding into form. There also appeared to be no ill effects from the surgery after seeing Didi make a few nice throws across his body over the past few days.
The Yankees are likely to ease Gregorius back into the swing of things, giving him a day off here and there. But he’s otherwise showing no indications that he won’t be making an immediate impact as long as his health stays with him.
The Yankees have a crucial homestand approaching against the Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros next week in which they will need Gregorius to continue swinging a hot stick to begin his season.