The New York Yankees made suitable moves this offseason to fill the shortstop position until starter Didi Gregorius returns from Tommy John surgery. Signing Troy Tulowitzki was an efficient move that will save the Yankees cap-space — he’s on a veteran minimum deal with the Toronto Blue Jays paying him $20 million per season on a bad contract.
Tulo has the defensive capabilities to fill the role effectively, but his offensive production has fallen off in recent years, primarily due to the inevitable degradation from age. He will act as a stop-gap for the time being and then as a rotational piece when Gregorius returns.
How has the Yankees shortstop’s rehab progressed?
According to general manager Aaron Boone, “Everything is going well and according to plan.”
Gregorius was excited about taking the next steps in the healing process, stating “hopefully next week I start doing throwing exercises. It’s a lot of steps. I’m waiting for that.”
The 29-year-old infielder is expected to miss at least half of the 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery, which should have a shorter recovery time being that he’s a position player rather than a pitcher.
What will the Yankees be missing with Didi’s absence?
The shortstop had a productive 2018 at the plate, hitting .268 (lowest in 2015) with an impressive 27 homers (most in career) and 86 RBIs. The Yankees as a whole took a more home run-centric approach towards last season, with several unexpected players hitting for power rather than contact.
Moving forward, I wouldn’t expect Didi to return to full form right off the bat – he will likely be eased back into his role.