Published On: Sat, Oct 13th, 2018

Yankees’ Didi Gregorius to Have Tommy John Surgery and Miss Part of 2019

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The winter shopping list of Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman got longer on Friday when the team learned that shortstop Didi Gregorius needed Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm.

Gregorius is expected to miss a large portion of next season. He is believed to have torn a ligament in his right elbow while making a throw home from shallow left field in Game 2 of the Yankees’ American League division series against the Red Sox.

The hole in the Yankees’ lineup — Gregorius batted third and played superb defense most of the season — is likely to intensify expectations that the Yankees will pursue infielder Manny Machado, an impending free agent now with the Dodgers.

“How do we react to this situation?” Cashman said at a news conference Friday. “We’ll either stay with what we got or we can pursue something stronger. We’re too early in the process to have any of the strategies mapped up.”

The Yankees are comfortable moving second baseman Gleyber Torres to shortstop, but then they would need a replacement at that position. If the Yankees signed Machado, the prize of this year’s free-agent class, he could play shortstop until Gregorius returns, then move to third to replace Miguel Andujar.

Cashman said he was not sure when Gregorius would return, but he expected it to be sometime next season. Pitchers generally take 12 to 14 months to recover from the operation. Position players can sometimes recover in less time, though catcher Kyle Higashioka, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013, returned in just under 15 months.

Cashman said the Yankees would know more after the surgery, which is expected to take place next week.

Gregorius, 28, just finished his best season, hitting 27 home runs, driving in 86 runs, stealing 10 bases and posting an .829 on-base-plus-slugging percentage while playing terrific defense. He committed just six errors.

Cashman said that Gregorius had a tear in his elbow ligament when the Yankees acquired him in a trade with Arizona nearly four years ago but that it was asymptomatic.

Gregorius seemed to have torn it further when he fielded an Ian Kinsler liner off the Green Monster at Fenway Park and threw home too late to catch Mitch Moreland. Gregorius saw a trainer after that game and played the final two games of the series, but uncharacteristically bounced two throws, forcing first baseman Luke Voit to scoop them up.

The Yankees also announced that pitcher C.C. Sabathia, whose contract expired after this season, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the same procedure he underwent last season.

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