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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/18/18

Didi’s Tommy John surgery went “as expected”; the Astros incorrectly accused the Yankees of cheating; CC wants Sonny Gray back in the rotation

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports | Bryan Hoch: Didi Gregorius’ Tommy John surgery went “as expected” on Wednesday. Didi’s injury—which the Yankees believe occurred when he fielded a ball off the Green Monster and threw home during Game 2 of the ALDS in Boston—and subsequent surgery is expected to sideline the Yankee shortstop until at least midway through the 2019 season. After the surgery, Brian Cashman stuck with his initial estimated timeline for Didi to return sometime between June and August.

Gleyber Torres remains the leading candidate to fill the shortstop position at this point. Still, all signs from Cashman point to an offseason of big acquisitions for New York, so that could certainly change by the start of the season.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: During a visit to Yankee Stadium for a series in May, an Astros official confronted a Yankee employee and accused them of cheating. The employee was operating a high-tech camera in the center field batter’s eye area of the stadium. The camera and its placement had been previously approved by Major League Baseball as a means of taking high res, high frame rate video to be used as training material for Yankee pitchers. After learning this, the Astros dropped the charges.

This story was unearthed on the heels of the Astros being investigated for having an employee in the camera pit by the Red Sox dugout at Fenway Park during Game 1 of the ALCS. Apparently, they’ve placed employees in camera pits against every team this year as a defensive tactic to make sure the opposing team wasn’t cheating. Ah, the old “we’re not cheating, you’re cheating, so we’re just cheating to make sure that you’re not cheating, unless you are cheating, then it’s fine that we’re cheating” scenario.

New York Post | George A. King III: CC Sabathia hasn’t given up on Sonny Gray. The veteran lefty wants to see Gray come back for another year, saying, “[Sonny Gray] can be one of the best pitchers in baseball. When he came to the Yankees, he was one of the best in the game. The stuff was there, it was just a bad year and he took a step back. Hopefully he will be back as a top-of-the-rotation guy.”

It should be noted that the two became close since Gray was traded to the Yankees last season, so this could simply be CC being a good teammate and having confidence in his buddy. Regardless, Cashman and opposing hitters don’t seem to agree.