Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is slated to miss the next 6-8 weeks with a shoulder injury sustained during his play for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, manager Joe Girardi told reporters. An MRI of his right shoulder showed hematoma of the subscapularis muscle.
The loss of Gregorius creates a big hole in the Yankees’ lineup and on the field, as the skilled shortstop Gregorius broke out offensively last season. He hit 20 home runs and posted a .276/.304/.447 line in 2016, after averaging a .685 OPS and seven home runs over the three seasons prior. The team is likely to fill his void with depth pieces such as Ruben Tejada or Ronald Torreyes rather than promote a prospect like the highly-regarded Gleyber Torres or Jorge Mateo.
The Yankees are not expected to finish highly in the AL East, giving them room to test out different options moving into the future and the ability to take caution with injuries. This year is especially crucial for Gregorius, as he must prove he can continue to produce the solid offensive numbers he carried out last season. The Yankees have several options at shortstop for the future, such as Torres, Mateo, Kyle Holder, and Tyler Wade. If Gregorius falters this season, it is likely the Yankees will go on and take another player to be their shortstop of the future.