Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, who had been one of the leaders of Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, suffered a right shoulder injury and is flying back to Tampa.
Gregorius underwent a preliminary MRI yesterday which revealed a hematoma of the subcapsular muscle, according to manager Joe Girardi. He’ll undergo more tests on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury and if he’ll have to miss an extended period of time. Team Netherlands, on the other hand, will play Puerto Rico tonight in the WBC semifinal round.
2017 is shaping up to be a crucial season for Gregorius, as the 27-year-old hopes to cement his status as the Yankees’ longterm starting shortstop. Despite having a career year in 2016 in which he hit .276 with 20 home runs, Gregorius’ future with the team is in question as top prospect Gleyber Torres nears the Majors.
If Gregorius is sidelined, the Yankees have a couple of different ways to replace him. Starlin Castro can move back to shortstop while Rob Refsnyder and Ronald Torreyes split time at second base. The Yankees can also turn to veteran shortstops Ruben Tejada and Pete Kozma, who are both expected to start the season in Triple-A.
Tyler Wade could also be an option for the team, as the 22-year-old hit .259 with five homers and 27 RBI with Trenton last season. Torres, on the other hand, is expected to start the year perhaps in double-A Trenton.
We’ll keep you updated as this story develops.