Didi needs Tommy John surgery

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - SPORTS -

NEW YORK — Yan­kees star short­stop Didi Gre­go­rius needs Tommy John surgery on his right el­bow af­ter in­jur­ing him­self mak­ing a throw in Bos­ton dur­ing the AL Divi­sion Series, and there’s no telling ex­actly when he’ll be able to play again.

Gen­eral man­ager Brian Cash­man said Fri­day that Gre­go­rius will be out “un­til some­time next sum­mer.” Cash­man said the team will have a bet­ter idea about his re­turn af­ter surgery, which hasn’t yet been sched­uled.

The sur­prise an­nounce­ment at Yan­kee Sta­dium led to im­me­di­ate spec­u­la­tion the team might even­tu­ally make a big move to fill the void — pur­suit of All-Star in­fielder and free agent-tobe Manny Machado, now in the NL play­offs with the Los An­ge­les Dodgers.

In the mean­time, sec­ond base­man Gley­ber Tor­res is the Yan­kees’ top in­ter­nal so­lu­tion at short­stop, Cash­man said.

“The best op­tion is Didi,” Cash­man said. “We’ll wait on him.”

The 28-year-old Gre­go­rius is the anchor of the Yan­kees’ in­field, pop­u­lar with his team­mates and a fan fa­vorite.

Gre­go­rius broke his own club record for home runs by a short­stop by hit­ting 27 this year. He bat­ted .268 with 86 RBIs. He is el­i­gi­ble for free agency af­ter the 2019 sea­son.

“We are op­ti­mistic he’ll play a lot of the sea­son with us,” man­ager Aaron Boone said.

The Tommy John surgery to re­place an el­bow lig­a­ment is much more com­mon for pitch­ers than po­si­tion play­ers. Min­nesota third base­man Miguel Sano missed the 2014 sea­son as a top-rated mi­nor league prospect, made his de­but in the ma­jors the next year and was an All­Star in 2017.

The Yan­kees said Gre­go­rius was hurt last week mak­ing a throw from left field af­ter a ball bounced off the Green Mon­ster against the Red Sox — there was such a play in Game 2. Cash­man said Gre­go­rius re­ported a prob­lem with his el­bow af­ter get­ting hurt.

Gre­go­rius played the rest of the series, fin­ish­ing 3 for 14 (.214) as the Red Sox elim­i­nated the Yan­kees in four games. Cash­man said he grew more con­cerned af­ter see­ing Gre­go­rius bounce two throws to first base in Game 4 Tues­day night — “un-Didi­like,” Cash­man said.

An MRI on Thurs­day re­vealed the tear. Cash­man said the Yan­kees were

aware Gre­go­rius had a par­tial tear in the same el­bow when they got him from Ari­zona in a three-team in De­cem­ber 2014.

“You never get a clean bill of health,” Cash­man said. “It’s the norm that play­ers have un­der­ly­ing is­sues that may de­clare them­selves, or not.”

The throw last week “was the fin­ish­ing off of some­thing that was a sleep­ing giant,” he said.

Gre­go­rius tore car­ti­lage in his right wrist mak­ing a head-first slide home against Bal­ti­more on Sept. 22 and missed time. Gre­go­rius re­turned late in the sea­son and started in the AL wild-card win over Oak­land. Cash­man said he had no rea­son to think the slide con­trib­uted to Gre­go­rius’ el­bow trou­ble.

Boone and Cash­man had pre­vi­ously been sched­uled to speak Fri­day at Yan­kee Sta­dium to wrap up the sea­son.

In other news:

⏩ Pitcher CC Sa­bathia had cleanup surgery on his right knee ear­lier in the day. He’s had surgery on the same knee in the past, and been slowed by trou­ble there in the past. The 38-yearold lefty was 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts this year, but strug­gled in Game 4 of the play­offs. Sa­bathia is ex­pected to be fine for the start of spring train­ing. He’s el­i­gi­ble for free agency, and Cash­man said the Yan­kees haven’t held their or­ga­ni­za­tional meet­ings to map out the fu­ture.

⏩ Pitcher Sonny Gray ap­pears on his way out of the Bronx. An All-Star with Oak­land in 2015, he’s just 15-16 with a 4.51 ERA since the A’s traded him to New York on July 31, 2017. The Yan­kees tried chang­ing catch­ers to help Gray, but the 28-year-old righty still lost his spot in the ro­ta­tion.

“Prob­a­bly best to try this some­where else,” Cash­man said. “Some­one, if they trade for him, is go­ing to get the player we wanted. It just hasn’t worked out here.”

⏩ Boone said the team would work with pitcher Luis Sev­erino to help him avoid tip­ping pitches. The prob­lem, the man­ager said, will “pop up from time to time.” A two-time All­Star, the 24-year-old righty went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA, but was hit hard by Bos­ton in Game 3.

⏩ Boone, in his first sea­son as a man­ager, and Cash­man said they saw a lot to like in a club that went 100-62. But see­ing the ri­val Red Sox clinch the AL East at Yan­kee Sta­dium and then watch­ing them the ALDS in the Bronx left a sour taste. “Hate los­ing. Hate los­ing to those guys,” Cash­man said.


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