Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius has been shut down from baseball activities for two weeks due to a shoulder strain, and thus will be placed on the 10-day DL to begin the season, manager Joe Girardi told reporters (including ESPN.com’s Andrew Marchand and MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch). The injury is serious enough that Gregorius could be sidelined for all of April, Girardi said, with Yankees GM Brian Cashman also estimating a rough timeframe of six weeks.
Gregorius suffered the injury playing for the Netherlands’ World Baseball Classic team during a Spring Training exhibition against the Diamondbacks. He hurt his shoulder while making a throw as part of turning a double play, with Girardi noting (as per Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald) that Gregorius was playing out of position as a second baseman; the Netherlands is deep at short with Andrelton Simmons and Xander Bogaerts also on the roster.
[updated Yankees roster at Roster Resource]
No replacement was named for Gregorius at short, though Girardi said that second baseman Starlin Castro — who was the Cubs’ regular shortstop before converting to second in 2015 — will see some time at his old position during Spring Training. Girardi noted that star prospect Gleyber Torres is not under consideration to fill Gregorius’ shoes. Ronald Torreyes, Ruben Tejada, Donovan Solano, Pete Kozma and Tyler Wade are all candidates to fill in at short or possibly second, should Castro end up moving positions. Torreyes is the only one of that group currently on the 40-man roster, however, so another move would have to be made to create space.
While New York has some middle infield depth on hand, losing Gregorius is certainly a significant blow. The 27-year-old has hit .270/.311/.409 over 1175 PA in his first two seasons as Derek Jeter’s heir apparent, showing some impressive pop last season with a career-high 20 home runs. Gregorius is still a below-average run creator for his career, though his offensive game has been aided by excellent skills on the basepaths (as per Fangraphs’ Baserunning metric). Defensively, Gregorius has had an up-and-down performance at shortstop over the last two seasons — he went from +5 Defensive Runs Saved and a +7.9 UZR/150 in 2015 to -9 DRS and a -3.4 UZR/150 last season.