The Yankees can’t afford to lose any more players at this point in the season. They are already painfully shorthanded while trying to lock up a playoff spot. Still, the injuries continue to pile up, with Didi Gregorius being the latest casualty when he bruised his heel on a collision with Kendrys Morales at first base last week.
Gregorius landed on the 10-day disabled list because of the injury. Unlike the Aaron Judge wrist saga, the Yankees hope the recovery time for Gregorius is accurate. If so, they will have him back in the lineup in the coming days.
The Bomberss need Gregorius back in the worst way, given how short their lineup has become. His .919 August OPS is especially missed. Didi’s hot bat is one they cannot do without for long. His excellent glove in the infield, however, has left an equally big hole.
Gregorius is, without question, the defensive anchor in the infield. His glove, range and arm are all qualities that should not be taken for granted among Yankees fans, especially when they get to see plays like the one he made against the Rangers earlier this month.
Gregorius’ reliable glove has an added feel of importance given the defenders around him, as well as the pitching staff that relies on groundballs for outs. The hot corner is shaky with Miguel Andujar and his -20 DRS, though he more than makes up for it with his bat. Even Greg Bird has been suffering his hiccups at the other corner infield spot, including a play in Miami where he failed to come up with a throw from Neil Walker at second base. Walker was charged with the error, but it certainly looked like Bird could have made the catch at first.
Rookie Gleyber Torres has an incredible arm and can drop down one of the quickest tags in baseball (besides Javy Baez), but he has struggled with some miscues in the field as well. Of course, it comes with the territory of being a rookie. To Torres’ credit, he has stepped in nicely for Gregorius at his natural shortstop position, but it’s still easy to feel the absence of Didi between second and third.
With pitchers like Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and David Robertson, who make their living off of groundball outs, the Yankees need Gregorius at shortstop to shore up the infield. Fortunately, at this point, they figure to have him back soon.